Helping People Find And Follow Jesus – Our Vision

Ever tried to find your keys in the dark? Without clear vision, it’s hard to do anything well. Perhaps you can remember walking, hands outstretched through a darkened room, and then painfully banging your shins on that malevolently-placed coffee table. Vision is mission critical. Without it, we stumble around, unsure and confused. This is true for us personally, for families, businesses and organizations. And it’s true for us as a church. Without a sense of who God has called us to be and what h...
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Be Kind

-Post by Doris Staggs- My day had started out as what seemed to be the usual for a beautiful spring day in June – more things to do in a day than I had time or energy for. After doing the outside chores of feeding and watering the chickens, I came in had my breakfast with a round of devotions, heavy on the prayer – God help me.  I knew I had to put up some fences for our chickens and turkeys so that they would have greater access to grass, but I also knew it would take a day or two to accompl...
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A Perfect Injustice by Rachel Ryckman

For a while now I have felt a rather strong desire to travel to a place that is poor. I know a lot of poverty and injustice exists in the world, but I feel detached from it – in many ways blessed to the point of apathy. And that scares me. I want to see it, touch it, let it get a hold of me and then start in some way to be part of change. This desire has set me on a journey. Lately, I have been challenged to start asking some hard questions. Some of them go like this: Why do we have so much w...
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Inclusion and Offense: How Jesus Sets the Tone for Kingdom Living

How does Jesus set the tone for our community life? In the good news stories, we are startled to see that jerks, thieves and tramps felt comfortable around Jesus. Many followed him. It doesn’t say these people had reformed, turned nice, become pleasant or even repentant. Just that they followed Jesus. And as a result, clean-living folk—Bible-reading, Temple-attending, Yahweh-worshiping folk—did not feel comfortable hanging around with Jesus. Offended, they were. Ticked off. Annoyed. And wh...
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Reaffirming Women in Ministry

One of the things that stands out in the Evangelical Covenant Church is our affirmation of women in ministry leadership. In our church membership classes, we have explored God’s mission to us and through us. I thought a little post on this, suggesting some further reading, might be helpful for us. God has gifted his people, women and men, for full participation in his mission.  By his Holy Spirit, Jesus calls men and women to lead and serve his body, the Church, enabling us to grow and mature...
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Good Conflict Leads to Greater Intimacy

Have you ever considered conflict as a road to greater friendship and intimacy? Oh, I know that may seem counter-intuitive. We usually think of nurturing intimacy by avoiding conflict, steering around the bumps and ignoring the elephantine issues that lurk in the corners of our lives. But it’s not true. Avoidance of issues debilitates honest relationships.  True intimacy can be nurtured through conflict. (Well, through good conflict, anyway.) A little background: A few weeks ago, Tennil...
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Guarding the Truth by Proclaiming it Widely

Paul to Timothy, from a Roman prison: "Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14 NLT) Guarding. What comes to your mind when you hear of "guarding" something? Soldiers with guns? A secure vault? High, electric fences? Big, intimidating dogs? But in this passage, Paul is telling Timothy to carefully guard the good news of Jesus, the "truth entrusted to him." So how do we ...
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Where is Your Samaria?

What kind of people do we avoid? What places make us uncomfortable? Jesus could be calling us to those very people, into those uncomfortable places. You may have heard that when first-century Jews traveled the length of Israel from Jerusalem to Galilee, they would loop around the region of the despised Samaritans. No self-respecting Jew wanted to associate with those half-blood, syncretistic losers.  The Samaritans were descendents of the low-lifes left behind when everyone of value was trott...
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