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Iowa is still reeling from a dozen tornadoes that slashed through the state one night in July, leaving behind extensive property damage.
Marshalltown, a community of about 25,000 residents, suffered catastrophic damage to its downtown area. While not unscathed from a EF-3 tornado that tore through town, First Presbyterian Church was more fortunate than most. In the storm’s aftermath, it has been focused on rebuilding and healing through worship and community service to those affected by the disaster.
The immigration conversation is nowhere close to being done. The political discourse around immigration continues to affect communities and the church — in both its witness and its membership. It’s a conversation that should compel leaders (including sessions and mid councils) to continue discerning the call of the church, especially when it comes to welcoming people who come to the United States in pursuit of a better life.
Since 2009, Anna Hackett has been discerning a call to serve women who are recovering from sex trafficking and prostitution. It’s a call that seems obvious to everyone else, she says; yet it’s one she’s questioned, prayed about and tried to accomplish in her own strength for the past seven years.