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Like some of its neighbors in Northwest Chicago, Friendship Presbyterian Church knows what it’s like to be on the move and without a home.
As the Rev. Brent Raska finishes up another order from customers in the states he distributes beer to, he remembers how he felt on Dec. 31, 2017. How he wept after preaching a final sermon at the small church he’d served for five years, which was down to 12 people. “I couldn’t help but think I was a failure,” he said, “even though I knew I wasn’t.”
In 2004, members of Second Congregational United Church, known as SecondFirst Church since federating with First Presbyterian Church, dreamed of building a gymnasium for the community of Rockford, Illinois — and they did it.
Despite being part of the same church family, Hazel Pflugmacher and Jaquette Easterlin never met.
“I’ve heard a lot about her,” Easterlin said. “She was a big part of creating a place where I could go and be loved on.”
Layne and Crawford Brubaker have taken church planting to the next level. Quite literally. With Okra Abbey, a new worshiping community (NWC) in the Pigeon Town neighborhood of New Orleans, the Brubakers and ministry colleague Vincent Grossi are doing more than just blooming where they’re planted— they’re cultivating community by growing vegetables and by nurturing faith and trust among their diverse neighbors.
Evangelism is all about relationships . . . .
In meetings with church leaders, I continue to grow in my faith and in what it means to follow Christ. Through these encounters I am going deeper into what I already know in my heart: that evangelism is good news, relational, messy, and takes time.