October 11, 2017

Lending creativity to share the Bible’s story

For more than 20 years, a creative team at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Phoenixville has been going over the top with elaborate sets and props for the congregation’s annual Vacation Bible School. “We try to take the theme of the year and make it bigger than life,” says Bobbie, one of the core members...

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September 18, 2015

Trinity Models Conversation About Race

  Asks “Can we talk?” about Black Lives Matter  After a post of “Black Lives Matter” on the church sign sparked community controversy, Trinity Lutheran Church seized the opportunity to bring members and Lansdale neighbors together to talk about issues of race in the community. “Even though this was not what we were looking for...

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August 27, 2015

Emergency Contact Systems For Your Church

By Bob Fisher Assistant to the Bishop for Mission Interpretation/Communication   The school/program year is fast approaching – which means that winter isn’t far behind. Remember last year’s sudden Sunday morning icing event? Does your church have a plan for notifying members in case of foul weather schedule changes or other emergencies? The tried-and-true phone...

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May 12, 2015

VP: Congregations Doing “A Great Job”

“Despite fewer people who may be engaging in our churches, less money to work with, and closing of some of our congregations, we are still reaching out to change the lives of people and make a difference in our communities,” said Vice President Tracey Beasley. She raised up ministries that contribute to the work of...

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May 12, 2015

Pastoral Transition Process Reviewed

The conversation on the floor of the 2015 Synod Assembly around the Report of the Resolution Task Force on Transitional Ministry was at times both encouraging and tense. A forum, attended by about 60 people later in the afternoon, offered the opportunity for people to discuss the transition process in more detail. While acknowledging that...

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March 18, 2015

NE Church Helps Evacuated Neighbors

When a four-alarm fire broke out on Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia Tuesday, evacuated residents were taken in for a time by St. David’s Lutheran Church. Kudos to St. David’s for being ambassadors for Christ in the neighborhood! Does your church have a plan for how to serve your community in case of a disaster...

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January 13, 2015

Preaching in a Digital Age

As we become used to 140-character “tweets” and ephemeral updates and chats, preachers will have to work harder to earn and keep the attention of their listeners, according to “Preaching in a digital age,” a Lutheran article by our own RevWriter Sue Lang. In the article, LTSP President Dr. David Lose explains that people are saturated with...

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July 21, 2014

Mutual Ministry: Making it Work

photo credit: Ken Rowland via photopin cc In October 2014, Pastor Sue Lang, of RevWriter Resources, LLC, one of the co-authors of Pastor and People: Making Mutual Ministry Work (Augsburg Fortress, 2003), will offer a day-long workshop guiding participants through an exploration of mutual ministry and its exciting ministry possibilities for your congregation. It will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2014...

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July 17, 2014

Nurturing Vibrant Congregations

Growing the vibrancy of a congregation is not something that can be imparted by a new pastor or a consultant, but is the result of congregations taking ownership of the need for change, understanding any gaps between where they are and where they want to be, and experimenting with ways to make faith useful to...

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May 3, 2014

Nurturing Vibrant Congregations

For about fifteen minutes every week, most of us listen to a sermon, absorb its message and go home to our daily lives. Perhaps we think about it once or twice, or it may flutter around the edges of our minds, but chances are good that by the next week’s sermon, we’ve forgotten all about...

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March 6, 2014

Ashes to Go Offered by Congregations

Several congregations in Philadelphia and suburbs offered “Ashes to Go” so that passerby and persons who could not otherwise attend church could receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. We received pictures from a several locations. Pastor Paul Lutz of Trinity, Lansdale, and Rev. Amanda Eiman of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church offered ashes to morning commuters at...

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January 29, 2014

It Pays to Collaborate

The 11 congregations of the Northeast Philadelphia Conference saved over $16,000 during a six-month period by working collaboratively to purchase insurance through one agency then negotiated with an insurance company on their behalf. “The pastors would do text studies and then talk about how they saw their congregations struggling to be sustainable and thrive,” said...

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January 17, 2014

Share the Right Address

With all the digital tools available to help us navigate, it’s important that you identify your church in ways that allow people to use GPS or web mapping services to find you, while respecting local knowledge and traditions. Always use a full address in your publicity, including zip code, to make it easy for people...

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December 18, 2013

Sacred Space in the Midst of Loss

The Christmas season is celebrated as a season of light, but for some people this time of year is anything but. “There are factors in people’s lives which make the holiday season difficult:  loss of job, divorce, depression, loss of a loved one, and or trauma around the season,” says the Rev. Andrena Ingram, pastor...

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September 20, 2013

Synod Council Endorses Gold+ Health Benefits

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Council recommends that congregations and other agencies within the Synod provide health benefits at the “Gold+” level to their rostered leaders and lay employees. “The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod as part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recognizes that a commitment to comprehensive health care benefits is an investment in ‘the...

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July 3, 2008

Center City church welcomes homeless

The Welcome Center at Holy Communion Lutheran Church is a safe haven where the city's homeless could step out of the cold and find a place to wash or sleep, to find someone to talk to for a while without being chased. The Welcome Center is not just a feeding program but a place for engagement, and lives are transformed in this sanctuary.