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office of vital congregations
At 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, August 15, the Presbyterian Mission Agency will host a webinar on Congregational Vitality, the first focus of its Matthew 25 movement. “We will delve into the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 vision and the significance of vital congregations within our denominations,” says the Rev. Tony Oltmann, associate for the Office of Vital Congregations.
John 20 gives us one of those timeless settings. The disciples had gathered in a house. Doors were locked. Questions were spiraling. The fear was palpable. Jesus had been crucified just a few days prior and the disciples still hadn’t really figured out what their next move should be. So, they sat. Confused. Doing nothing except worry about how the entire world had changed.
The tenor of Lent is one of “complicated joy,” according to the Rev. Carlton Johnson, Associate Director for Theology, Formation & Evangelism for the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
The ministry areas of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and offices of the PC(USA) practiced being good neighbors in the marketplace at this week’s Association for Partners in Christian Education event. APCE’s Marketplace, which features a bookstore and informational resources from various denominations, seminaries, and church-adjacent non-profits, is a major attraction at the annual event.
Sometimes, Kevin Riley says, he can look in the mirror and see “one who is truly beloved.”
The Immersion conference ended Thursday with worship that included inspired preaching and inspiring music, the latter by Dr. Tony McNeill, a sought-after workshop clinician, lecturer, consultant, mentor and guest choral conductor.
Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., the final keynoter for The Immersion conference which concluded Thursday, shared his insights on two more of the 7 Marks of Congregational Vitality — Outward Incarnational Focus and Empowering Servant Leadership. The Office of Vital Congregations sponsored the conference, held online and in person at Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, North Carolina.
Author and historian the Rev. Dr. Gary Neal Hansen, the author of the 2012 book “Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers,” used two hour-long keynote slots during The Immersion conference Wednesday in part to offer attendees “a well-rounded diet of prayer.”
Appearing via Zoom Wednesday from Philadelphia, “where it’s sunny and our team is in the World Series,” the Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart engaged participants in The Immersion conference in thinking of worship as “a call to faithful reckoning and divine accountability.”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Bryson, the co-pastor at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, remembers the day as a young boy when his father brought home the family’s first microwave oven.