The Church is called to join God in mission across Southeastern Pennsylvania, planting seeds of faith, service and reconciliation and watching what pops up. This website collects your stories, ways congregations across SEPA are planting seeds of mission, watering them with faith and action, and watching the growth God brings.
Share the new seeds and new growth in your congregation. Click here to tell your story!
“There is something very cool about singing Beautiful Savior, Amazing Grace, and A Mighty Fortress in a pub,” Pastor Keith Anderson of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church writes in his blog about the experience of UDLC’s first “Beer and Hymns” evening. “Sure, its partly the novelty of it, but it also worshipful, spiritual, intimate, fun, great outreach, and an affirmation of God’s presence in our daily lives – in all the places we gather, including pubs.” Read more
Update: Just this past weekend the “Community Meal” program hosted at St. Michael, Germantown, passed the 10,000 meals served mark! Just shows how a small seed can produce a harvest of a hundredfold, or more, when watered and nurtured. Pastor Bruce Todd of St. Peter’s, Lafayette Hill, notes: “Many people are involved from picking up surplus food from Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting, to shoppers who purchase additional items, then the cooks who prepare the meals as well as those who set up, serve and clean up every Saturday morning.” Learn more from the video after the jump.
St. Peter’s of Lafayette Hill and St. Michael’s of Mt. Airy started a Community Meals program for the Mt. Airy community. The program began June 12th, 2010 serving meals every Saturday from 11am until 1pm. “Holy Hot Dish”, our current Community Meals program serves a variety of casseroles, salads, fruits, vegetables and desserts. View video after the jump.
Young adults aren’t always motivated to attend Sunday worship, and Gloria Dei, Huntingdon Valley, and Trinity, Fort Washington have found young adults ask for more when offered the chance to gather for a meal and conversation about life and faith. The two congregations, linked through the call of the Rev. Jim Goodyear as youth minister at Gloria Dei and pastor of Trinity, began inviting young people aged 18-30 to “Dinner and B.S.,” an informal meal and conversation Goodyear hosts.
“It’s designed to let young adults without children to get together and talk about life,” Goodyear says. As dinner morphs into “B.S.”, Goodyear says, “I listen for what’s going on in their lives, and bring a faith perspective to it.” Sometimes “B.S.” becomes bible study, and “sometimes it’s just about the B.S. of life,” he says. Read more
St. James Limerick implemented a much more detailed welcome strategy this fall using Nelson Searcy’s Fusion suggestions. When you’re a guest at St. James you’ll find 1) parkers and greeters, 2) a welcome center, 3) a communication card in every bulletin to get information, 4) a free gift as you leave, 5) an email on Monday afternoon, 6) a personal letter with another gift on Thursday and 7) you’ll be added to the church database.
With all of the challenges the 21st Century Church faces to be a vital and relevant Gospel witness in word, worship, and service, how do we clean out the ecclesiastical attics and the basements and the drawers and closets to make room for the Good News of Jesus Christ and to clear away the clutter that may make seeing Gods activity difficult? Watch Part 1 of Bishop Burkat’s reflection on Isaiah 43:18-19, which asks us to reflect on which inherited gifts need to be honored and affirmed in our tradition, which gifts our congregation has to share with the Church, and what might get in the way of new people coming to our churches. Read more