“Christians are not optimists. No. Rather, we choose to see hope where there is no hope.” On a pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine in 2010, I heard these words from a former bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal. He had earned the right to speak boldly about ‘where … More Hope where there is no hope
Excited about ECMN’s mission opportunity of Beloved Community this year? Here’s one way you can lean into that effort. We’re making a limited number of free spaces in the Building Bridges Across Culture and Race course available to members of ECMN. This seven-week course gives each participant the chance to work one-on-one with an experienced Intercultural … More Take the Building Bridges course for free
We can be hubs for courageous innovation when we trust that God has given us the freedom and the will to do something new. … More Even now, creativity and freedom
“This deepened my body, mind, and spirit regarding racism on personal and theoretical levels.” “I loved how it was broken up into sections and allowed me to return where I left off. The speakers and videos were very engaging.” Friends, we’re excited to tell you that the School for Formation is continuing our partnership with … More Three steps to take advantage of our partnership with ChurchNext
Our Homiletics course, offered by Lisa Cressman and Cathie Caimano of Backstory Preaching, consistently gets rave reviews from all kinds of participants who are learning (or re-learning) to preach Good News. A side benefit: You will become much more fluent in some online tech skills! Interested? Take a peek at this welcome video to find … More Using online tools to learn to preach
Friends, here are three key questions for your faith community to wrestle with in the wake of the recent events in Virginia. We’ve offered some resources that we hope will support you as you pray through these issues together. 1) What’s the long work your faith community is doing to build beloved community in your … More White Supremacy and Your Faith Community: Three Questions to Consider
Guest blogger: The Rev. Marcus Halley, Rector at St. Paul’s, Lake of the Isles In the wake of the horrific attacks by White Supremacists that have devastated the local community in Charlottesville, Virginia, cost the lives of the 3 Americans (1 counter-protestor and 2 law enforcement officers), and stunned the nation, many have issued clarion … More Preaching after Charlottesville
by guest blogger and SFF summer intern Christy Stang Deepening Roots: Becoming Grounded in Scripture Any type of spiritual programming will inevitably teach you something. Not every program, however, gives you the experience you need to put down roots in your theological heritage and to find your place within the church’s story. Deepening Roots provides … More Ground yourself in Scripture
Last week, at the Rethinking Church conference at Luther Seminary, we heard a speaker offer this nugget of wisdom attributed to a fighter pilot: “In the moment of crisis, we don’t rise to the occasion. We revert to our training. That’s why we train so much.” In the midst of rapid-fire news, the constant barrage … More Practicing love over fear
Looking for ways you or your faith community can move from tolerance to relationship? … More Partners for Interfaith Learning
Three and a half things you need to know to take advantage of the School for Formation’s resources this spring. … More Eastertide News from the School for Formation
Backstory Preaching has generously allowed SFF to share their guide for how to make your sermon prep a spiritual respite through the daily practice of Lectio Divina. Download this PDF to organize your sermon prep and pray your sermon into being. Lisa at Backstory also says: “[I]f you haven’t already, I encourage you to make appointments … More Pray Your Sermon Into Being with Backstory Preaching
Here are five great ways to keep your learning about culture and race alive this spring. … More Five ways to keep learning about race and culture this spring
Click here to browse the courses! This Easter season, the School for Formation invites you to dive into 5 free self-paced online short courses aimed at helping you go deeper into this year’s mission opportunity of Racial Reconciliation. These courses are led by nationally recognized teachers, professors and priests. Each course consists of short readings, … More 5 free courses on Racial Reconciliation, taught by nationally recognized leaders
How do we preach the Gospel when our listeners believe passionately about the right or wrong of our national climate? … More Webinar on March 9: Preaching in a Divided Culture
Recommendation: Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents by Wendy Claire Barrie I came face-to-face with the problem at Christmas. My son, almost 18 months, was rounding the corner into toddlerhood. Since we were traveling to see family at Christmas, we didn’t put up a tree — just a nightly Advent wreath and … More Living your faith at home
“I think we sometimes forget how our presence, our words, and our actions flavor our lives and the lives of those around us. At a time when almost every day we are bombarded by aggressive and mean-spirited words – like that lump of pure sodium dropped into a bucket of water that explodes with enough … More Are we worth our salt?
Perhaps you’ve seen, in the chaos of this past week, mentions of the ‘resilience of American institutions.’ It strikes me as a change of tone in the midst of a culture that is moving away from church membership and attendance. If American institutions require resilience now, our faith communities can help point the way: we … More Your work matters.
How will you be observing Lent this year? Here are a few spiritual practices, books, and online, interactive programs that deserve your consideration! Spiritual practices A practice of prayer you haven’t tried before. Curious? Consider taking Michael Sirany’s Christian Spirituality course to find out more, or try this resource for inspiration. Sanctify a part of your daily … More Ready for Lent? Here are a few ideas to get started.
Missional Management is the work of providing support to those who follow the way of Jesus. That’s the primary work of a vestry/bishop’s committee: to make sure that the financial, human, and property resources are oriented first toward following the way of Jesus. The Rev. Michael Pipkin spends a lot of time talking with vestries … More Transform your faith community with Missional Management: Online course starts January 16, register for $40