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Posts Tagged ‘mission’

The T-Shirt

Long ago I gave away nearly all of the ones I had collected over the years from being a part of things: college, the ballet, the schools I taught in, various churches, not-for-profit charity events, service corps, reunions, camps, spiritual direction programs, and even my own occasional “Life is Good” purchase.

To Welcome or To Invite

We’ve decided to quit being a welcoming church. No kidding. We’re giving it up. It won’t be easy, but we’re committed to it.

What Leads to Volunteerism?

Graduates of Protestant high schools out-volunteer peers from Catholic, secular, public, and home schools—all by significant margins.

Washing Dishes

The sea of voices around me rises up like a symphony, instruments that I do not recognize, yet long to understand and know. I hear sounds of laughter and joy. So much unrestrained laughter and joy . . .

The Ministry of Mission

We had no contacts on the ground in any of the communities we thought about serving. We knew that anywhere we might go, it would be critical to serve in right relationship with the community we hoped to serve. We were, frankly, nervous about taking other people’s kids too far from home and having something go wrong.

Staying Grounded as Disciples

Discipleship is the ongoing formation of the people of God as followers of Jesus Christ. Apostleship is the response of all the baptized to the mission of God to be missionary people whose vocation is to carry, in word and deed, the Good News into every part of the world and by so doing call forth and authenticate the apostolic calling of all God’s people.

Go and Do Likewise: Living Stories and Sharing Lives

I want to tell a story about story-sharing and the community changing potential that it creates. I want to share a story about neighbors and that urge “to go and do likewise” that good stories foster in us. With an urge to do something to help Sandy devastated communities on the South Shore, we did just that and formed some enduring partnerships.

Coats of Kindness

Many congregations have worked with the parable of the talents and have encouraged members to take a small amount of money and make it grow. Few results have been more spectacular than Coats of Kindness, which has grown from seed money of $50 from All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota All Saints member […]

Pilgrimage: Story, Spirit, Witness, Place

The key to a pilgrimage, I think, is to go. To journey, to venture, to make one’s way from one somewhere to another somewhere. This journey could happen on a metaphysical level, but I think for most of us there’s a necessity to actually get up and physically go.

One Pilgrim’s Progress . . .

If I’m going to take ten teenagers on a trip, charge the parish (through fundraising) and their families a large chunk of change to do it, and call it a pilgrimage, I’d better decide what that’s going to mean to us.

21st Century Faith Formation

It is now possible for a congregation to provide faith formation for everyone, anytime, anywhere, 24x7x365. It is now possible to customize and personalize faith formation for all ages around the life tasks and issues, interests, religious and spiritual needs, and busy lives of people.

Being an Indian in the 21st Century

Life in our communities isn’t all bleak. My experiences working with our youth has also given me the awesome witness of their gifts and talents.

Supporting Sandy Recovery

As the cold weather approaches, churches are seeking ways to help those in need in hands-on as well as through financial means.

Intergenerational Christian Formation

A faith community that practices intergenerational ministry will use the gifts of every generation in order to create frequent opportunities for generations to come together to minister, worship and serve together.

How to Design a Mission Trip Project

Though many groups sponsor one-time work camps, these isolated projects are not as effective for young people to learn about society as are on-going projects where lasting change – for all involved – is possible.

Conscious Collecting

“Conscious Collecting” as a way to describe our intention when we introduce an outreach ministry and collect a special offering toward that chosen ministry. We look for resources that will teach our children and youth the importance of giving from our abundance to people living in scarcity.

Mission vs. Vision

Many churches have vision statements. Many have mission statements. What’s the difference? Does a church need both? Is one better than the other? It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, as well as what you’re trying to communicate with others – in your congregation and beyond.

Christmas at Sea – Knitters Outreach to Mariners

All year long, around four thousand knitters across twelve time zones have been hard at work creating beautiful hats and scarves to present to mariners working at Christmas.

Feelings and the Rise of the “None”

I am blessed to share life with family and friends who would count themselves among the “none”s. The stories of their disaffiliation from Christianity are heart- and soul-wrenching to me. When I hear them, I can’t help feeling that as a Christian, I’m not doing enough to make Christ evident.

Sabbath Reflections: Capitalism and Inequity vs. a Gospel Mandate

‘The Kingdom of God is the celebration of Sabbath economics, of generous hospitality and sacrificial compassion, of investment in all that builds community, and the rejection of amassing fortunes in barns…’ This series of seven Sabbath reflections by Bishop George Browning are designed for individual or group use in parishes, seminaries and other study environments.