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NEXT Church has received a grant of $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Preaching for Change Project.
Susan Ehterton, a real estate developer and ruling elder at Arlington Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Virginia with 35 years of experience in redevelopment and affordable housing, explained the church’s journey as moving “from one stone edifice to another stone edifice” — one with 173 units of affordable housing and, as it turns out, room for the congregation as well.
The Rev. Jessica Tate, who helped lead NEXT Church into what she called “a space for sparking imagination, telling the truth, working for justice and pouring into church leaders in this time when the church as an institution is precarious,” has announced she will leave her position at the end of the month after nine years of service.
During a candid panel discussion held as part of the NEXT Church national gathering last week, leaders talked about antiracism work that’s been going on within the organization and the bumps in the road they’ve encountered striving toward greater inclusivity, especially among leadership.
Susan Ehterton, a real estate developer and ruling elder at Arlington Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Virginia with 35 years of experience in redevelopment and affordable housing, explained the church’s transformation as moving “from one stone edifice to another stone edifice” — one with 173 units of affordable housing and, as it turns out, room for the congregation as well.
The Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and Tanya Watkins, executive director of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, which carries the memorable acronym SOUL, may take slightly different approaches to serving their community.
Closing worship for the NEXT Church national gathering on Sunday brought together two ways of being community that you wouldn’t necessarily associate — Luke’s description in Acts 2 of how the early church functioned and the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which have been adapted to other addictions as well.
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III remembers the heartbroken grandmother of a man in denial of his drug addiction. “Son,” she told him one day, “until you name the demon, you ain’t never gonna be free.”
Picking up on the NEXT Church national gathering theme, “Breaking, Blessing, Building,” Dr. Christine Hong wondered how people will come out of “survival mode” inflicted by the pandemics of coronavirus and racial injustice and rally for a future of blessing and building.
The Rev. Lenny Duncan, who delivered a powerful and at times anguished and angry keynote Friday during the NEXT Church national gathering, said he agreed to speak because the Rev. Denise Anderson asked him to.