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Model Ministries

Cutting Through the Clutter

August 29, 2013 | We know that most churches have a different pace over the summer – you can see it as “down-time” – or you can use it as an opportunity to try something new. Here’s an inspiring story of how one church used summer to do some deep exploration of personal lifestyles and decision-making. Read more »

Chestnut Hill Church Lawn Dressed in Heartbreak

Chestnut Hill Church Lawn Dressed in Heartbreak

May 9, 2013 | MOVITA Johnson-Harrell tried to get away. "The summer of 2007 . . . I turned to my husband and said: 'My sons will not become statistics on the streets of Philadelphia. It's time to go,' " Johnson-Harrell said Monday. She moved her family to Lansdowne to keep her children from the city's violent gun culture. Despite the move, in June 2011, Johnson-Harrell buried her 18-year-old son, Charles Johnson. He was shot in East Germantown in his car, a victim of mistaken identity, waiting for his sister. Read more »

David and Bathsheba - Or Not

David and Bathsheba - Or Not

May 9, 2013 | We then went over to another table on which stood a birdcage, out of which we took a tea-light, which we lit from the Christ-candle lit at the beginning of the service, to represent the liberation of refugees from the “cage” of regulations and restrictions which confines them. Beside the cage stood a lino-cut (Joy is an outstanding artist) of a woman and child in a small boat, the woman with her head covered. Is she a Muslim? Or perhaps we are seeing here Mary and Jesus, who at one point were also refugees. Read more »

Making a Difference in a Day

May 9, 2013 | We sometimes think that acting for peace rooted in justice has to be complicated – a big new project or program – but as you’ll read in this issue a one-time or once-a-year event can have a powerful witness and lasting impact. BPFNA Partner Congregations, member churches and other friends are among those congregations making a difference in a day. Read more »

Worship piece based on "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

November 19, 2012 | Letter from Birmingham Jail or Letter from Birmingham City Jail, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an American civil rights leader. King wrote the letter from the city jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was confined after being arrested for his part in the Birmingham campaign, a planned non-violent protest conducted by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference against racial segregation by Birmingham's city government and downtown retailers.   Read more »

Season of Peace

November 19, 2012 | All of you who walked in darkness who have known the fear of night-- Now rejoice and sing with gladness; come and see the wondrous light! God has turned your tears to songs, lifting burdens, righting wrongs. God sent us a tiny boy bringing hope and peace and joy. In one little baby’s birth, God knelt down to love the earth. Read more »

Flowering at First Baptist Church

Flowering at First Baptist Church

November 19, 2012 | Last winter our congregation made a conscious decision to do something that was quite unprecedented in our history. We are very blessed to have two ethnic congregations as part of First Baptist Church. Back in 2002 we were blessed by God to have the resources and the personnel to restart the church's Hispanic ministry. Two years ago I was contacted by folks from the American Baptist Burma Refugee Task force, who informed me that there was a group of resettled Karen refugees from Burma in our town. Read more »

Providing a Space: First Fridays at First Baptist

July 19, 2012 | The inspiration to start First Fridays Youth Open Mic came to me early in my ministry. It was at First Baptist Jamaica Plain in August 2011, only a few weeks after I started there as Minister of Christian Formation and Outreach. I wanted to create a context in which youth could put their best selves forward—that is, express their ideals, dreams, and values—and find the support not only of peers and caring adults, but of God. Read more »

How Closely Related All Our Fights Are: Thoughts on Peace and Protest

How Closely Related All Our Fights Are: Thoughts on Peace and Protest

July 19, 2012 | The history, theory, and practice of nonviolent direct action were on the agenda in an April training convened for Asheville, NC area residents by BPFNA partner congregation Circle of Mercy (COM). The event was one of thousands that month sponsored by a national coalition of progressive organizations calling itself "The 99% Spring." Trainees learned about the long struggle for economic justice in the United States and about how their own stories and experiences qualify them to enter that struggle. Read more »

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