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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Minute for Mission: 1001 New Worshiping Communities


May 18, 2024

“We’re Presbyterians.  We don’t DO evangelism.”

I heard these words as I served as a presbytery’s associate for mission and evangelism.  The speaker was the chair of a congregation’s Mission and Evangelism committee …

I get it.  For many of us, the E word makes many of us uncomfortable. For some of us, it triggers painful memories of manipulation and coercion, of colonization and abuse. The word comes with baggage.

But I want you to know — and I want us to celebrate — that the Holy Spirit is moving through Presbyterians to share life-giving good news with people who are hungry for relationships and thirsty for grace. It is happening in our congregations, and it is happening with the intentional and focused efforts of the PC(USA) to start new worshiping communities wherever we can.

It looks like families gathered around a neighbor’s table sharing a meal and figuring out how to follow Jesus together. It is sweaty middle-aged adults bringing one another encouragement at the end of an exhausting cross-fit session. It is advocacy for the poor. It is worship among imprisoned women and a safe space for questions among bartenders and baristas on Monday nights in a college town. It is newly arrived immigrants from every corner of the world finding hope in each other to begin a new life in a strange place. It happens in sanctuaries, neighborhood parks, school cafeterias, dance and yoga studios, on paddle boards in the lake, on trails with hikers. We believe there is no place where God is not, and Presbyterians are meeting God there, making new friends, and demonstrating the mercy and grace that is real good news. 

In a Gospel text, Jesus stands in the midst of a crowd and cries out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the Scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ This flow of living water — from Jesus himself — to the heart of courageous men and women gathering new worshiping communities — and to the hearts of the curious, skeptical, aching people around them is evangelism. It’s as easy as pouring a cup of water or a cup of coffee because we have tasted the goodness of God and saw that it was good enough to share.

To hear stories of where this water is flowing, visit our catalog of video stories here:

Nikki Collins, Coordinator, 1001 New Worshiping Communities

Today’s Focus: 1001 New Worshiping Communities

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Brian Henson, Desktop Support Analyst, Information Technology, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)  
Jessica Hernandez, Electronic Marketing Associate, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation  

Let us pray

Come, Holy Spirit, and fill us with love for neighbor and stranger. Show us your love for the people around us and send us to befriend them and serve them and welcome them in your grace and in your power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.