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Matthew 25 congregation
When it comes to people’s proclivity to pile up possessions, Jane MacDonald couldn’t agree more strongly with Jesus.
“We all have enough stuff!” she said emphatically.
Three years ago, if you were to ask Austin, Texas, residents what they knew about Hope Presbyterian Church, chances are they would have remarked on the beautiful roses on the property. Not much would have been said about its mission — until now.
In Deuteronomy, the people are urged never to forget God’s laws. Remember them. Teach them to future generations. “Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:8–9).
Bethel Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia is an African American congregation of about 45 members that’s doing the work of a congregation 10 times its size. Bethel is described as a little church with a big heart for mission. The congregation accepted the Matthew 25 invitation in 2019, but it was already doing the work the gospel requires.
The First Presbyterian Church of Dunbar, West Virginia, was the first church in the Presbytery of West Virginia to answer the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s call in 2019 to become a Matthew 25 church, focusing on ministries that dismantle structural racism, eradicate systemic poverty and build congregational vitality.
When the Rev. Dr. Christina Berry enrolled her congregation to become a Matthew 25 church, little did she know just how the Spirit would move among them. After reviewing the areas of focus that her flock could engage in — building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty — focusing on vitality made the most sense for an all-white congregation living in the shadow of glory days gone by.
As LoveJoy United Presbyterian Church (LUPC) in Wood River, Illinois, lives into its commitment to be a Matthew 25 congregation, it is seeking to empower every church member to discover their individual calling and gifts so they can go forth and serve.
For the Rev. Jeanie Shaw, leader of Eventide Community, a new worshiping community in Sacramento, California, Holy Week had a whole new meaning this year. As an active member of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team, people in her community are used to being sent into neighborhoods across the nation and around the world to work on PDA-connected projects.