By Jan Edmiston, DMin ’01 and 222nd General Assembly Co-moderator Candidate with T. Denise Anderson
Repeat after me:
It’s not – and never again will be – about getting new members.
On the heels of Mothers’ Day, I’ve been thinking about a couple of important and unimportant things:
An historic Mother Church is counting down to a terrible anniversary in forty days.
KFC’s biggest sales day is – not kidding about this – Mothers’ Day. Lots of moms got buckets of chicken for Mothers’ Day. Continue reading Jesus Didn’t Die to Perpetuate an Institution: The Mother of All Culture Shifts
By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning
Jenell Paris and Margot Eyring have prepared a most useful tool for those involved in missional efforts, whether leader or participant. Urban Disciples: A Beginner’s Guide to Serving God in the Inner City (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2000), is a workbook for persons or teams participating in, or planning on engaging in, urban mission experiences. The content is adaptable for various kinds of missions groups, including, as listed by the authors, “church Bible study groups, college ministry groups, small groups, cell groups, urban plunge programs, short-term mission projects, urban ministry courses at seminaries and colleges, and people in the first years of long-term ministry.” Continue reading For the Bookshelf: Urban Disciples
By Andrew Foster Connors
2014 Columbia Theological Seminary Convocation held on September 4, 2014
Text: Mark 16:1-8
You don’t have to have been in seminary for long to know the way this Easter story is supposed to end: “he is not here. He has been raised. Christ is Alive! Hallelujah!” If you don’t know the way this story is supposed to end they probably shouldn’t have let you into seminary in the first place. So it’s a shock to hear the actual ending of Mark’s Gospel. “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
That is not the way this story is supposed to end. It can’t end here – not like that. We’re counting on Mary, and Mary and Salome to demonstrate to us that the gospel message – he is raised – makes all the difference for them and for all of us. Continue reading 2014 Convocation Sermon: Unfinished Gospel
By Michael Thompson, Director of Communications
If you even passively use Facebook or some other social media platform, you are likely aware of the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Originally, this started out as a fun way for folks to advertise the charity of their choice, but gained new steam this summer raising awareness about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). It hasn’t taken long for this internet phenomenon to be followed up by various commentators discussing the effectiveness of the exercise, advocating for the greater needs of other charities, and expressing plain exhaustion from watching so many videos.
While I am not one to throw “cold water” on the good intentions of others, I thought it might help to provide some guidance on charitable giving. Before working at Columbia Theological Seminary, I did communications for a number of great organizations including the Association of Philanthropic Counsel. APC is an international professional association of consultants working with various nonprofit organizations, not just to do fundraising, but building the full capacity of charities to execute their mission. Distilling all of the great advice out there down to a few points, I provide these recommendation for you when mapping out a giving plan for yourself or for your church. Continue reading A Brief Guide to Smart Giving
By Donald R. Frampton (DMin ’82), Senior Pastor, St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, New Orleans
I am tired of closing down churches! As the pastor of a congregation that enjoys great health, I am too often called upon by Presbytery to assist with the closing of churches in our area. What can healthy congregations do to stem this tide, even turn things around? If starting a new church is the most obvious answer, what would it look like? In our diverse city of New Orleans, where the racial mix is approximately 55% African American, 35 % White, and 10% Hispanic, likely nothing akin to my mostly white church! Rather, it would reflect the unique demographic of its own neighborhood. But how to begin? Continue reading Growing Through Mission