• Looking into the lectionary 5 hours ago

    18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Proper 13 – August 2, 2015

    18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Proper 13 – August 2, 2015

    by Jill Duffield
    Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35 Some of the crowd who were fed on the mountainside search for Jesus. They are seekers. People who want to know more. Attracted to Jesus but uncertain about who he is and what he is about. Have you encountered some of these in your ministry? Perhaps some of these folks have come with a friend to church, told you at the door they appreciated worship, asked if they could talk to you for a minute. Maybe they have made it so far as to come to… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Reporting 12 hours ago

    Big Tent is doing a new thing

    Big Tent is doing a new thing

    by Jana Blazek
    A college campus. Large-group Bible study. Programming organized by the denominational staff. These are just a few of the new aspects of Big Tent, meeting today through Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. A new location Over 700 Presbyterians are gathering on the campus of the University of Tennessee for Big Tent. Many are sleeping in dorm rooms and eating in the college cafeteria for the first time since their own college years. All are trying to keep cool in temperatures over 90 degrees. Believing education to be part of Presbyterian DNA,… continue reading...
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  • Book Reviews 1 day ago

    Go Set a Watchman

    Go Set a Watchman

    by Harper Lee HarperCollins, New York City. 288 pages. REVIEWED BY JAN EDMISTON Sacred assumptions are fading away by the minute. From the discovery of Kepler-452b, which blew up the assumption that the earth is the sole planet in the universe capable of sustaining human life, to the discovery of “Go Set a Watchman,” which blew up the assumption that Harper Lee wrote a single great novel, even our most sacred assumptions are evaporating – especially this summer. “Black-Lives-Matter” is the clarion call of our time – not because “All-Lives”… continue reading...
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) signs memorandum of understanding with Ghanaian women

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. —Ephesians 4:4–6 Many years ago, Reformed Christians from North America and Europe responded to Christ’s call to “go and make disciples of all nations” by traveling the world and sharing the gospel—establishing churches, schools, hospitals and clinics as they went. Today, Reformed Christians raised in those churches are migrating to North America and Europe, where they seek membership in Reformed congregations. During the 2015 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women, held in Minneapolis in June, an important step toward fully embracing African immigrant women wanting to join the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was taken in the signing of a memorandum of understanding with three groups: the Christian Women’s Fellowships in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (Cameroon), the Women’s … [Read more...]

18th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Proper 13 – August 2, 2015

Jill Duffield

Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35 Some of the crowd who were fed on the mountainside search for Jesus. They are seekers. People who want to know more. Attracted to Jesus but uncertain about who he is and what he is about. Have you encountered some of these in your ministry? Perhaps some of these folks have come with a friend to church, told you at the door they appreciated worship, asked if they could talk to you for a minute. Maybe they have made it so far as to come to a new members’ class or been brave enough to attend a Bible study. It could be a young adult who has been in the pew for years but is just now searching for a faith of his own. If you are open to them, these seekers ask wonderful questions. Some are brand new to Christianity, others went to church years ago, many have been wounded by a faith tradition and it takes all they have to try again. Do you know the people I am talking about? Jesus does. They are seekers who’ve had a glimpse of the gospel and who now are … [Read more...]

Big Tent is doing a new thing

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A college campus. Large-group Bible study. Programming organized by the denominational staff. These are just a few of the new aspects of Big Tent, meeting today through Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. A new location Over 700 Presbyterians are gathering on the campus of the University of Tennessee for Big Tent. Many are sleeping in dorm rooms and eating in the college cafeteria for the first time since their own college years. All are trying to keep cool in temperatures over 90 degrees. Believing education to be part of Presbyterian DNA, Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons said hosting Big Tent on a college campus will support attendees’ desires to learn while also practicing good financial stewardship. Conference planners said they hope the conference location will serve as “a great reunion of our faith family,” with opportunities for fellowship and learning. A new creation “Is the church dying?” Big Tent started with worship, with this question raised early in the sermon by Jana … [Read more...]

Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman

by Harper Lee HarperCollins, New York City. 288 pages. REVIEWED BY JAN EDMISTON Sacred assumptions are fading away by the minute. From the discovery of Kepler-452b, which blew up the assumption that the earth is the sole planet in the universe capable of sustaining human life, to the discovery of “Go Set a Watchman,” which blew up the assumption that Harper Lee wrote a single great novel, even our most sacred assumptions are evaporating – especially this summer. “Black-Lives-Matter” is the clarion call of our time – not because “All-Lives” don’t matter but because black lives haven’t mattered as crucially as other lives for the span of our nation’s history. As we read in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a black man falsely charged with violating a white woman was not an unfamiliar story. “Go Set a Watchman,” especially for those of us who grew up in the South, also tells a familiar story. Jean Louise Finch might be a liberal New Yorker now, but her grandparents owned slaves before the … [Read more...]

The Making of Stewardship Leaders: Spiritual and Technical Disciplines for Cultivating Generous Communities

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A 90-minute webinar presented by Sean Mitchell Tuesday, September 27 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT) Click here to purchase the live event with on-demand replay – $29.95 (1-6 participants) Click here to pre-order the DVD – $43.95 (free shipping) Are you… Afraid to ask congregants to give more than once a year? Doubtful that community members will increase their financial commitments to support the operating budget? Wondering how to develop a 12-month stewardship ministry? Hoping to learn best practices for providing stewardship education and “asking”? Leadership is a commitment, often challenging us to do things that make us afraid and inviting us to do things differently for the greater good. Stewardship ministry is often the work church leaders ignore because it evokes the most discomfort and presents the most daunting learning curve. But, the change and leadership growth are possible. As leaders, we can grow. We can listen for how others are growing and the ways we can … [Read more...]

Big Tent 2015 starts this week

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It starts Thursday at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville – Big Tent 2015, with Big Tent having become the gathering spot for Presbyterians in years when the General Assembly is not meeting. The Tent this year – from July 30 to Aug. 1 – will bring some changes. Instead of consisting of 10 or so partner conferences meeting concurrently, this year’s event features one theme – “Live Missionally” – with programming including dozens of workshops organized by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) national staff. The event will include large-group Bible study led by Kang-Yup Na, an associate professor of religion, history, philosophy and classics at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, who will focus on the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel, using the title “Lost and Found.” For the first time, Big Tent is being held on a college campus, with most participants being housed in on-campus dorms. Participants are being told to bring shower shoes and their own … [Read more...]