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Model Ministries

Occupying Church

April 9, 2012 | Seattle First Baptist has had a wonderful opportunity to participate in the global Occupy movement. Shortly after 82-year-old Dorli Rainey's pepper spraying gave it a certain international visibility, Occupy Seattle (OS) moved its tent location from Westlake Plaza to the campus of Seattle Central Community College, just two blocks from Seattle First Baptist. Read more »

Making a Prayer

April 9, 2012 | Our prayer for Martin Luther King Sunday came about during an after-school conversation with two high-school seniors; one, who has never been to church, and the other, who has; one, a black guy, and the other, a white girl; both, friends. After listening to them talk about their day at school, I told them it was going to be Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday at my church and asked if they’d want to write a prayer with me? Read more »

Death row inmate joins Circle of Mercy Congregation

April 9, 2012 | It was an unusual service, for several reasons. To start, it’s not often a small congregation welcomes 22 new members into its ranks. Because the congregation has no indefinite membership, everyone—including the pastoral staff—is asked to choose again. But it’s always been that way, so this wasn’t out of the ordinary. What was really unusual is that one of the new members is an inmate who’s been on death row for decades. Read more »

The Spirit Moving in Our Midst

April 9, 2012 | It all started with Nancy Hopkins. This summer when Nancy preached on the working of the Holy Spirit, she asked us to confer in small groups about significant promptings or visitations of the Spirit. Several days before, I had received a message from personnel at the New Sanctuary Movement (NSM) to ask if CBC could help with a political refugee from Zimbabwe – Ellen Chandemana, a young activist for GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) who had been arrested and tortured in the spring of 2010. Her “crime” - believing that gay persons like herself deserved fair treatment. Read more »

The Making of Radical Christians

January 16, 2012 | Like most liberal to progressive mainline Protestant Churches in the beginning of the twenty-first century, Old Cambridge Baptist Church in Harvard Square has had its issues with membership growth and sustainment in the last few years. OCBC, a Partner Congregation with BPFNA, has a history of being one of the most progressive churches in the area for several decades. The church participated actively in the anti-war movement in the sixties and seventies, and became a sanctuary church in the eighties. It paved the way for women’s ordination in the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts, and has, as well,  for the social and ecclesiastical rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Read more »

Folding the Pain of the Past into Hope for the Future

Folding the Pain of the Past into Hope for the Future

January 16, 2012 | It is said that anyone making a Senbazuru (one thousand origami cranes) will have a wish come true. In honor of the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, we at First Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore., created a Senbazuru, hung it from the rafters in our sanctuary in the days before 9/11/11 and, with this act, noted our wish (prayer) for peace. Read more »

Remembrance, Reverence, Resilience

Remembrance, Reverence, Resilience

January 16, 2012 | With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, I had hoped for a way to commemorate the individual and collective loss and grief of those days. But I was also aware of my longing to redeem that time, in some measure, by providing a chance to focus, as well, on the incredible response of individuals and the ensuing examples of the triumph of the human spirit, which continued to create, imagine, love, and observe the daily routine, in the midst of what was often unspeakable shock and grief. Read more »

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