A number of years ago I overheard an interesting conversation at my local Starbucks. From what I could gather, it seemed that a sincere Christian was struggling to field questions from an ardent atheist: How can you take the Bible seriously when there are inconsistencies within it? How can you trust a God that would command genocide? Partly I was tempted to chime in, but truthfully, I didn’t have great answers to the questions myself.
Recently Devyn Chambers Johnson, co-pastor of Community Covenant Church in Springfield, Virginia, hosted a daylong seminar called Talking with Children about Race. She invited fellow Covenanter Rukiya Davis from Windsor Mill, Maryland, to be the presenter. Davis earned a master’s in Christian ministry from North Park Theological Seminary and recently earned her master’s of social work. “From my perspective,” Davis says, “there aren’t a lot of clinically trained people who work with children and families in need inside the church. I want to advocate for people who are caught up in the foster care or assistance systems.”
I was team teaching second-grade Sunday school. Another teacher asked the class, “Does anyone know what Lent is?” A quiet boy who rarely participated raised his hand excitedly. “Lent is the stuff you find in your belly button!”
The book called out to me. That’s all I can say. I’d heard about it in passing, then one day I saw it on my colleague’s desk. Perhaps it was the phrase “I’m perfect” that was scribbled out and re-written “The Imperfect Pastor,” that struck me. But I still didn’t read it. Several years later, it sat languishing on my nightstand until I finally had enough wisdom (or desperation) to pick it up.
Eight years ago John Kareithi was serving as pastor of an independent Swahili-speaking church in Columbus, Ohio, when he heard about the Covenant. The denomination seemed a good fit, and he was excited to bring Revival Church into the ECC in 2010. Revival is a mostly African church with members from DR Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Kareithi immigrated to the US from Kenya in 2001.
Where do you go when you’re sick and homeless? Often the ER is the best option for chronically homeless individuals with medical issues. Across the country emergency department staff find themselves greeting the same faces again and again. Without the safety and stability of permanent housing, homeless people are vulnerable to illnesses, accidents, and violent crime necessitating medical attention.
I love poetry. Nearly every morning I read one or more poems to begin my day. I love the evocative images and startling metaphors. Poets have a way of bringing us up short, of making us look at an overly familiar world anew.
Count and report. Count and report. My initial days as a church planter felt urgent. Not only was I full of vision, I was eager to prove that the vision my co-pastor husband and I shared was a vision that could reach a lot of people.
Phil and Rici Skei did not set out to plant a church. Twelve years ago Phil was working for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as the executive director of their Fresno Institute for Urban Leadership.
Two years ago, I wrote in this space about the erosion of meaning that has befallen the term “evangelical.” For a variety of reasons, I was ready to toss it out. I believed then, as I do now, the term has become relational kryptonite. Its negative connotations make true evangelism all but impossible.
More than a century ago, a small group of Swedish immigrants and children of immigrants in my hometown of Attleboro, Massachusetts, decided to build a church. They wanted a place to worship together. And they want to sing the songs they knew, in a language they understood, among people they could love and trust. So they built a home where their little family of God’s friends could flourish.