September 30, 2019 — by Dana Allin

One Measure of a Flourishing Church: Our Mutual Spurring

I have been alternating newsletter topics between ECO’s flourishing church measures and our values. In the normal sequence, this month is focused on the value of Our Mutual Spurring (which is also the value we will be focusing on at our 2020 National Gathering in February).  However, I wanted to address this topic from a slightly different angle by focusing on some analysis of  our annual statistics. I am pleased to say that we have had a record percentage of congregations complete their statistical reports.  These reports are incredibly important because they help us to track trends and pinpoint needs in the denomination. 

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September 30, 2019 — by ECO NEWS

Ministry On The Border | Reflection by Mia Franklin

A team of students from Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield, Minnesota traveled to the South Texas border on a service-learning trip in partnership with Border Perspective. From volunteering at a local immigrant center to serving alongside immigrant pastors, these opportunities gave this team an eye-opening and first-hand look at ministry alongside immigrants communities. Mia Franklin, Youth Ministries Director of Discipleship and trip leader describes her team’s service-learning experience in South Texas.

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September 6, 2019 — by Dana Allin

One Measure of A Flourishing Church: Expects Disciple-Making

 When I talk to pastors or sessions and I hear about the challenges they face, I often hear things like, “our giving is down” or “we don’t have enough volunteers” or “we are getting pushback to our worship change”. It’s partly my personality and partly my training to want to dig beneath the surface of a presenting challenge. I have learned to ask the “why” question. “Why are people giving you so much pushback to worship change?”

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September 6, 2019 — by Greg Wagenfuhr

Discipleship is Vitally Theological

What would Jesus do? I was a teenager in youth group when those WWJD bracelets were popular. But I always thought it was a funny question. After all, when considering whether and whom to marry or even date, the question is totally useless. Jesus was intentionally single and celibate. WWJD is a question of discipleship. But what really does “following Jesus” mean? See, theology is vital! To understand what Jesus’ call to follow him meant, we have to understand his world a little bit. In those days people did not distinguish questions of morality from politics, economics, religion, or anything else.

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