October 1, 2008
LDM for Young Adult & Generational Ministry
My Name is Eric Guy and I Approve This Message
Last Sunday was “Pulpit Freedom” Sunday. With a name like that it sounds as though it ought to be something to support, doesn’t it? Organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, Pulpit Freedom Sunday was the designated day for 30-something pastors to publicly endorse a political Presidential candidate based on their “moral qualifications.” Pastors were then to send a copy of their sermons to the Internal Revenue Service in order to force a challenge to the law barring religious organizations and other nonprofits accepting tax-deductible contributions from involvement in partisan political campaigns.
While there is much I’m tempted to say in this Stirrings version of a pulpit regarding the idea of any clergy person defining for his/her congregation who is or isn’t morally qualified to be President, I’ll refrain… except to say that surely there’s a better way. Surely there is a more appropriate way, a manner that more faithfully honors our role as citizens of this country, our tradition as United Methodists, and our responsibility as those who are called to live, pray and work towards God’s kingdom.
A better response might be one like the Wesley Foundation at Collegiate UMC in Ames is sponsoring: “TPV,” or “Think – Pray – Vote.” To read the rest of Eric’s article, please click here.
LDM for Camping & Christian Formation
LDM for Evangelism & New Ministry
Who is Visiting Small Membership Churches? Just this week, Lewis Parks wrote an interesting article in the “Leading Ideas” webpage from the Lewis Center, entitled, “Who Is Visiting Small Churches These Days?” It’s well worth us all thinking about what he has to say. Parks makes the point that while the general perception is ALL small membership churches are declining/dying, the truth is, some 35% of them are indeed attracting significant visitors and growing. He then proceeds to list five categories of people who are drawn to small membership churches. To read the rest of Scott’s article, please click here.
Naomi Sea Young Wittstruck
LDM for Social Justice & Mission
Congregational Community Organizing While there are several mixed messages in mainstream media about community organizing, as congregations and faith communities it is one of the most powerful methods we have to further the Kingdom of God in order to create a fluidity between our churches as physical structures and the church as it can be within community partnerships and outreach that both welcomes people into our faith community and also moves the faith community beyond the walls of the sanctuary. To read the rest of Naomi Sea Young’s article, please click here.
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