A Conversation on Future Faith

Sojourners will be hosting a conversation at the end of next week, Friday at 11:30-1:00 on April 20th,   on Wes Granberg-Michaelson new book, Future Faith. The book explores the winds of change blowing through American Christianity, offering suggestions and challenges for the American church as the Christian faith becomes increasingly global and diverse. Wes’ perspective on these issues, and how the church can respond to the demands of the 21stcentury, is especially poignant and insightful for all who see the importance of the role for the churches—especially at a time like this.

The event, held at Sojourners’ offices (408 C ST NE) on Friday, April 20th, from 11:30am-1:00pm, will feature a panel discussion with several prominent international church leaders. Hana Kim, pastor of Myungsung Presbyterian Church in Seoul, South Korea, and Casely Essamuah, Secretary of the Global Christian Forum, will feature on the panel alongside Wes and myself. Adelle Banks, reporter for Religion News Service, will be moderating the conversation.

We are looking forward to this event as a thoughtful and important discussion of issues faced by the American church, and would be honored for you to join us in this conversation. Lunch will be provided, and you will receive a copy ofFuture Faith to take home.

For more details and to RSVP, please go here. Please feel free to forward the invitation to anyone you think would be interested in this conversation.

World Vision Celebration Sunday

Hundreds of churches like yours will be joining together on May 20 to love and serve children in need. You can lead your church to live out their faith in a very practical way by joining Celebration Sunday — an easy and impactful way to unite people in your church to minister to those Jesus called “these brothers and sisters of mine.”

Watch this video to see how easy it is to be part of something so powerful!

Join in this global day of action and lead your church in a hope-filled response to the greatest needs of our day. Learn how this event can help you disciple and engage your entire church body.

Invitation to Pray for Korea

You asked Christians everywhere to join you in prayer for:
  • Permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula; the avoidance of military conflict; and the emergence of conditions on the Korean Peninsula that allow for flourishing relationships between each individual and 1) God; 2) others; 3) oneself; and 4) all of creation
  • just and peaceful resolution to current tensionsincluding wisdom for our political, diplomatic and military leaders as they work across differences toward a goal of peace, security and freedom; wisdom among leaders from North Korea, South Korea and China that will allow God’s people on the peninsula and in the US might live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness; and for God’s kingdom to come on the Korean peninsula and His will be done there as it is in heaven
  • Mercy from God over the Korean Peninsula
  • Blessing on the efforts of citizens who seek to bridge the vast differences between our countries, including American evangelicals who pursue this work;
  • The American church to demonstrate empathy toward the people of the Korean Peninsula, praying in a spirit of friendship, noting the image of God in every human being.
You already signed the call to prayer. Will you now urge your communities and networks to join together on Fridays at 12 pm, wherever you are, to pray for Peace on the Korean Peninsula? 
Resources: HERE
More info HERE

Church Members Advocating for Poor and Hungry People

Bread for the World’s 2018 Offering of Letters invites local churches and Christian people across the country to urge their members of Congress to protect funding for programs that help hungry and poor people in our country and around the world.  People who want to engage their local church in advocacy will find an array of resources athttp://www.bread.org/get-2018-offering-letters-toolkit – sample letters, fact sheets, prayers, and Bible-study and sermon ideas.  Some of these resources – attractive bulletin inserts, for example – are available in printed form. Constituent communications are a powerful complement to the advocacy of national church leaders, and the involvement of Christians in advocacy is a way for Christian leaders to teach people that work for justice is an important aspect of discipleship.

 

Cooperative Batist Fellowship launches McCall Racial Justice, Leadership Initiative

Louisville, Ky. — Creating ways for God’s imperfect church to move toward unity between racially diverse communities is the focus of a new initiative named to honor the Rev. Dr. Emmanuel McCall, a trailblazer who has spent much of his life working for racial justice – as a student, denominational leader, pastor, author and scholar.

McCall is currently pastor of the First Baptist Church of East Point, Ga. From 1970-1996, he served as a visiting faculty member at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During this time, he developed the Black Church Studies program that was used by three Southern Baptist seminaries. He was an adjunct professor at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology from 1996 to 2016.

To stave off racial tensions during the 1960s, Dr. McCall was part of a pioneering team of African-American and Anglo pastors who intentionally met regularly in Louisville to read, study and pray together. Because of the forward thinking and action of these clergy, the rise of racial conflict was limited in their community.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship launched the Dr. Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice and Leadership Initiative on Feb. 12 at a press event on the campus of Simmons College of Kentucky, a historically black college in Louisville.

During the launch event, McCall looked back to this collaboration he and former Crescent Hill Baptist pastor John Claypool began in the 1960s around racial justice.

Across racial lines, in the 1960s,  “we formed an Interracial Baptist Pastors Conference, and we tackled the racial problem in Louisville. We didn’t want to see happen in Louisville what was happening around the South. …  This conference of more than 800 of us were able to move through those years of the 60s. … Everything that spoke of racism we tackled and the Lord allowed us to be successful.”

McCall joined CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter and leaders of two African-American denominations, as well as the Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen Church and president of Simmons College of Kentucky, to build on an existing partnership among the organizations and to launch this innovative initiative.

On hand for the launch event were Dr. David Cassady, president of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky; the Rev. Dr. Sam Tolbert, President of National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc.; and the Rev. Dr. James C. Perkins, President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter is pleased McCall is working with CBF in such a vital endeavor.

“Dr. McCall has spent a lifetime inspiring action out of his own commitment to racial reconciliation,” Paynter said. “I’m excited to have such a great leader in Dr. McCall work alongside CBF to create opportunities for courageous African American men and women to lead.”

The McCall Initiative encourages churches and individuals to contribute financially to CBF’s racial justice and leadership work and to participate in creating church-to-church “Covenant of Action” agreements through the New Baptist Covenant, identifying ways to use CBF’s Advocacy Toolkit to empower churches to further racial justice efforts, forming racial justice Peer Learning Groups and developing a church renewal experience around racial justice.

To give to the McCall Initiative, visit www.cbf.net/mccallinitiative.

Chruches’ Responses to Parklands Shooting

Click on link to open PDF

Churches’ Responses to Parklands Shooting

IPHC Historic Merger in Chile

Sunday night, Feb. 4, was a historic evening in Santiago, Chile, with the official merger of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) and the First Methodist Pentecostal Church of Chile, along with the mother church, the Evangelical Cathedral (Jotabeche Church). With several hundred thousand members primarily in Chile, the IPHC global membership for the first time is more than 2 million members. The Jotabeche church, one of the largest in the world with an estimated one hundred thousand members, is now the largest IPHC congregation in the world. This Chilean denomination and congregation are the foundation of Pentecostalism in Chile that began in 1909.

Following 51 years of affiliation which began in 1967, the two denominations have experienced excellent relationships that have mutually enhanced their ministries. The 1967 agreement was led by Bishop J.A. Synan, Dr. Vinson Synan, and Dr. R.O. Corvin from the United States, and Bishop Vasquez from Chile.

 

Read more HERE

Glen Guyton called to serve as next Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA

 

Posted on 

(Mennonite Church USA) – The MC USA Executive Board (EB) announced that Glen Guyton will serve as the new executive director of MC USA. He will begin a three-year term on May 1, 2018.

The Executive Director Search Committee recommended Guyton to the EB in a video conference call on February 6, 2018. Based on the search committee’s recommendation, the EB voted unanimously to hire Guyton to lead the church forward.

“We believe that Glen is called at this time and place to lead MC USA,” said Joy Sutter, chair of the search committee. “We are impressed by Glen’s love for the church, his vision and passion for the future, his commitment to anti-racism, his excellent skills in communication, his business acumen and the hope he holds for the future of the denomination. His gifts in administration and vision, and his broad respect throughout the church, will serve us well.”

 

Read more HERE

Archimandrite Symeonides Elected Metropolitan of Chicago

 

ARCHIMANDRITE NATHANAEL SYMEONIDES
ELECTED METROPOLITAN OF CHICAGO

NEW YORK – The Holy and Sacred Synod of Ecumenical Patriarchate elected unanimously today the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides as Metropolitan of Chicago.

Immediately following the election, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America stated:

“I express my wholehearted congratulations on the election of Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides as Metropolitan of Chicago, wishing the abundant blessing of God on the sacred ministry the Church has entrusted him with. The newly-elected Metropolitan has served as Deacon, Priest and Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations for a number of years, and I am certain that he shall apply his experience and the gifts God endowed him with for a fruitful ministry in the service of the devout Greek Orthodox flock of the Holy Metropolis of Chicago.”

Action Alert Migration Campaign/Share the Journey

In the coming week, Congress is expected to finalize our national budget. We have an urgent request on behalf of families around the world struggling to overcome poverty and those who are forced to migrate.

Pope Francis calls on you to “reach out, open your arms to immigrants and refugees and share their journey.”

Please heed the Holy Father’s call and ask your members of Congress to support migrant families here in the United States and around the world.

Why now? More than at any time in our history, our brothers and sisters are leaving their homes and everything they know. They are in search of safety, stability and a better future for themselves and their families.

As we prepare ourselves for the season of Advent, let us come together to care for those so desperately in need of assistance.

Take this opportunity to walk with your neighbor in their journey and speak up for those seeking to be welcomed.