From Despair to Hope in the New Year

Dennis Knight


We are called as faithful people to commit ourselves to the notion that there shall be no more victims born of violence perpetrated by one human being against another.

An opportunity for inspiration and spiritual refreshment

Carol Steinbrecher


By The Rev. Carol Steinbrecher   Are you in your first 2 – 5 years in congregational leadership?  Do you feel you could use some new inspiration, spiritual refreshment, and intellectual stimulation?  Then I highly recommend that you consider applying for the Chautauqua Institution’s Interfaith, New Clergy Program.   Chautauqua is a unique place where approximately 10,000 people gather each week throughout a 9-week summer season to explore the contemporary worlds of religion, public life, the ...

The Church Marches

Wendy Vander Hart


Our holy texts are full of prophets railing against the unjust practices of kings, rulers and governors.

Conquering the Cutback Syndrome

The Parish Paper


January 2017—Volume 25, Number 1                   Copyright @ 2017 by Cynthia Woolever “We simply have too many churches in this small town,” declared a respected lay leader, Tom McClain, in a long-range planning meeting. “And three are from the same denomination as our church! It makes perfect sense to merge our congregation with the West Main Street Church. And if our other two denominational churches merge, our community would then have two strong congregations. I think two healthy churches...

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

TJ Harper


by TJ Harper, Racial Justice Associate Sixty-one years ago this day, December 5, marked the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  African Americans in the South were sick and tired of paying the same amount of money for services, but not receiving the same service. They took a stand. Whether it rained or was glistening hot, the majority of blacks did not take the bus. In many cases, they would have to carpool or walk miles to their jobs or church. We are familiar with the story, in terms of...

Standing Rock: Good Tidings of Great Joy

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas


Faith and fear duke it out Standing at the edge of Oceti Sakowin Camp on Monday, 12/5/16, as a blizzard began to blow in. Beyond the river behind me are Rosebud Camp and Sacred Stone Camp. I am not a brave person. In fact, I am quite familiar with anxiety. I know what it’s like to wake up wide-eyed in the middle of the night, imagining the future with dread. Deciding to go to Standing Rock was not easy. I heard in late November that Chief Arvol Looking Horse was urging people of faith to ...

Seeing is Believing

Patricia Berry


Waiting on the platform at South Station for my train to be announced, I had the most amazing encounter with another commuter. I bumped into a young Islamic woman student who was also finishing up the semester. We shared a booth once on the commuter rail in September, so it seemed fitting to end the semester together.

Contact New Folks Near Your Church in Time for Christmas

Don Remick


Mission Insite has a way for you to economically acquire a list of folks who are new to your community.

Top 10 Church Emergency Preparedness Procedures

Estelle Margarones


As we approach the end of the calendar year, we’ll find ourselves with lots of “Top 10” lists. Ours doesn’t look back, it looks forward! Your Disaster Resource Team encourages you to consider the Top 10 Church Emergency Preparedness Procedures that you can employ now to ensure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster. Below the list, you’ll find more information about each topic. Fire Drill Snow Policy Emergency Contact Information Financial Data Insurance Safe Church Policy ...

Can We Wait for God's Spark?

The Parish Paper


December 2016—Volume 24, Number 12              Copyright @ 2016 by C. Jeff Woods God sparks innovations, but only on God’s terms, and those terms usually involve disruption. From burning bushes to wood that burns even when soaked, God’s sparks manifest themselves in unusual ways. We can choose to ignore the spark or even squelch the spark. But, if we take notice of it, the spark soon becomes a roaring fire. What are the conditions for God’s spark? And, does the spark look different if people ...

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