Church of God of East New York dressed for Black History Month.
By Carl Stagner
Cultural traditions and observances have long been a part of the church calendar. While they don’t demand acknowledgement in worship settings, they’ve been used effectively to establish connections between Christ and community, and between the present-day congregation and faithful servants of the past. From “Souper Bowl” Sunday to fall (Halloween?) festivals, from Labor Day picnics to celebrations of God and country (Independence Day), celebrations of otherwise secular occasions are often used by the church to reach neighbors, encourage fellowship, and/or put into practice biblical values. Each February, numerous Church of God congregations celebrate Black History Month and, in so doing, build bridges between church and society, often shining a light on topics sometimes overlooked or ignored by popular culture. Three Church of God congregations in the Northeast offer a snapshot of Black History Month in the Movement. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Northeast
Tagged African American, black history, Black History Month, Brooklyn, celebration, Church of God of East New York, Clifton McDowell, Connecticut, CT, cultural, culture, diversity, Esau Greene, ethnic, ethnicity, February, heritage, heroes, holiday, legacy, multicultural, New Antioch Church of God, New Haven, New York, NY, NYC, observance, race, racial reconciliation, Refuge Church of God, Tatum Osbourne, unity
Photo: Tim and Kim Wardell with local child.
By Carl Stagner
Near the corner of BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) Road 22 and Allen Road on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, you’ll find a spiritual intersection where cross-cultural connections take place. Tour the region and you’ll be amazed by the vast open spaces and breathtaking vistas, but your jaw will drop at the evidence of destitution that dots the landscape. It’s into the midst of such poverty and a variety of related social ills—alcohol and drug abuse, joblessness, lack of education, general despondency—that Tim and Kim Wardell were called. Not a situation that just anybody would be vying to jump into, it was a golden opportunity for high-impact ministry and teaching. But since the Wardells arrived in September, they’ve discovered that they’re not the only ones with something to teach. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Home Missions
Tagged Allen, coats, community outreach, cross-cultural, cultural, diversity, home missions, learningm, multicultural, Native American Ministries, Pass Creek Church of God, Pine Ridge Reservation, poverty, shoeboxes, South Dakota, sustainability, teaching, Tim and Kim Wardell, unity
Photo: Pastor Mejia, with Kathi Sellers translating.
By Carl Stagner
One church worships in Spanish. The other, English. The two churches are just a few miles apart in the same city, and both lift up the name of Jesus Christ. But these two Church of God congregations weren’t even acquainted with one another. Often the holidays are associated with family scuffles and awkward dinner conversations that lead to division. When Christ is at the center, however—when Jesus is the subject—Christmas has a way of bringing believers together. Just before Christmas, Iglesia de Dios La Hermosa and Main Street Church of God of Anderson, Indiana, united in a special worship service open to the community. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy, Great Lakes
Tagged Abby Torgeson, Anderson, cultural, Don Billey, experiential unity, functional unity, Global Strategy, Heriberto Mejia, Hispanic, Iglesia de Dios La Hermosa, Indiana, Kathi Sellers, Main Street Church of God, Missionaries, missions, multicultural, Spanish, translation, united, unity, unity service
By Carl Stagner
Churches of the Concilio Hispano—the Hispanic Council of the Church of God—are some of the fastest-growing, most on-fire-for-the-Lord in our movement today. It’s exciting to see and hear what God is doing among our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters as they seek to reach the Latino population for Jesus Christ. Until you’ve attended one of their services, you may not be able to imagine fully the passion and the power overflowing from their worship, preaching, and prayer. It was no different at the building dedication service for Iglesia de Dios la Hermosa in Anderson, Indiana—the first Hispanic church this century to have their own facility in the state. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged Anderson, building, church, church growth, Concilio Hispano, cultural, dedication, evangelism, facility, Heriberto Mejia, Hispanic Council, Indiana, language, Latino, multicultural, Partners in Ministry, Sam Rivera, Spanish
In honor of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., Anderson University is suspending classes, Monday, January 18, 2016. Instead, students will have opportunities to participate in service projects, demonstrations, and other celebratory events in remembrance of King’s legacy.
The community is invited to participate in a 1960s Civil Rights Rally Re-enactment located in Miller Chapel at the School of Theology. The re-enactment will be facilitated by Dr. James Morehead, professor of communication at Anderson University, and will be followed by “Get On The Bus,” a demonstration of singing songs from the Movement. Shuttle service will be provided for those who would like to participate in the citywide MLK Jr. Day Celebration at the Paramount Theatre. Continue reading