Vital congregations reach out to strengthen the communities where they are located. Different denominations give different names for this ministry, including mission and outreach, home missions, and social ministry. But where do congregations get the strength for mission? How do they retain that strength in the midst of providing food and clothing, mentoring individuals, or advocating community change? How do they keep from burning out? They do it by building capacity.
"Faith is more caught than taught." —Debbie Gline Allen
The Synod Selection Committee has accepted our resolution “Calling for the U.S. to pull ‘Back From the Brink’ and Prevent Nuclear War.” It all began in the fall of 2017, after I attended an address at our church, First, Northampton, by the co-founder of the Physicians For Social Responsibility, Dr. Ira Helfand, of Northampton. His analysis proved that even a limited conflict of 100, or so, modern warheads, could put into motion a radioactive cloud encircling our latitude so toxic that two to ...
"Sure, I can connect with *more* people online than I can in person, but these connections aren’t very high quality." — Rev. Mary Nelson
"I don’t know about you, but the simpler way isn’t always obvious to me." — Martha Goodman
...The fossil fuel industry has spent millions of dollars trying to make the climate emergency as “unforeseen” as possible, for as long as possible, to as many people as possible. But the clock has run out. The time of reckoning is at hand. Foreseen or unforeseen, the climate crisis is upon us and it calls for immediate action.
“The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 19:34) Scripture is very clear on our responsibility to the immigrant and the refugee. God’s command is straightforward: treat the alien as a citizen. “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut 10:19) Not only to those without documentation or legal status, but to each ...
"Churches need to be more innovative. Clearly, the old way of doing things is not working, as demographic studies will show." — Susan Page Townsley
This is one of a series of reflections on the joint gathering of the board members of Together, As One Board with the members of the boards of the historic Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences. Find them all here. Two weeks ago today, my husband got hit by a car. He was commuting to work on his scooter, going straight down the road he travels every day, when a driver turned left, and struck him. And in that moment, things changed in our household. The good news is that Joel...
This is one of a series of reflections on the joint gathering of the board members of Together, As One Board with the members of the boards of the historic Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences. Find them all here. "I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19. On May 4, 2019, three Conferences or four Boards gathered to worship and build, to break bread and share, to...