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Stay informed on our latest news by subscribing to our newsletter!
Intersections is a newsletter for the community of faith of the Richmond Church of the Brethren. Published monthly, it's the one-stop place to get information on what's going on in the life of our church and in our community.
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Those of us who strive to follow Jesus are tasked with not only continuing his work, but spreading the gospel, AKA the “good news.” Still, I'll be the first to confess that I'm much more comfortable trying to show someone, through my life and actions, who Jesus is and what his promise of life abundant is all about than I am trying to tell them some kind of good news. Read full newsletter
Communicating well is a crucial part of our life together and our shared ministry. As the Ministry Team continues to lead us into our 2013 goals of strengthening our core community, deepening relationships, and inviting others to join us, it's clear that good communication patterns and tools play key roles in advancing these goals. Read full newsletter
We're excited to be licensing Travis Poling and Dan Finkbiner on their journeys toward set-apart, ordained ministry. Travis was licensed on April 28th and Dan will be licensed Sunday, May 5th. Read full newsletter
Our 2013 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will be taking place June 29th through July 3rd in Charlotte, North Carolina. We typically have several folks from our congregation in attendance at Annual Conference and this year is sure to carry on that tradition. Read full newsletterread more »
Easter is here! Christ is Risen! The darkness has passed, the light has returned, and hope springs to life anew. Read full newsletter
One March 24th, a group of brave souls laughed in the face of a Palm Sunday snowstorm and showed up to paint the new Arts & Crafts Space. The transformation is now well underway and plans have already been made to apply the final coat of paint on Tuesday, April 2nd at 5pm. Read full newsletter
ver the last several months our church’s leaders have been working on an exciting new project that will help us to stay connected, deepen our relationships, and strengthen our shared ministry. We’re calling the program “Tapestry Groups” and deacons are currently in the process of contacting folks with more details and invitations to participate. Read full newsletter
Our congregation has a rich history of calling out individuals to explore and engage in varied forms of set-apart ministry in the church and in the world. On April 28th, during our morning worship, we will join with representatives from the South/Central Indiana District to license Travis Poling to such ministry. Read full newsletterread more »
I always find it fascinating when books I’m reading start talking to each other. Does this ever happen to you? Right now I’m about half-way into The Idolatry of God, the latest from Peter Rollins, and I’ve just started working through a draft copy of Mark Scandrette’s latest book on radical simplicity that he was kind enough to share. Though they’re dramatically different reads I have found they both resonate with the subject of aspiration. Read full newsletter
Holy Week, the days leading up to Easter, is always a special time filled with unique opportunities to worship God and embody our faith. This year we’ll be holding a variety of meaningful gatherings on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday morning. Read full newsletter
Lent is traditionally a season to dwell with some of the challenging, less comfortable parts of our faith as we travel with Jesus toward what was arguably the most difficult part of his journey - the crucifixion. Read full newsletter
Cope Environmental Center, one of our congregation’s outreach partners, is promoting free Energy Assessments from Energizing Indiana, a statewide program working to improve the comfort and efficiency of our homes. Home Energy Assessments can help you raise your home's performance, lower energy bills, improve in-home air quality and increase your home's value. Read full newsletterread more »
For the past few months I've been dreaming and discerning about what could help our congregation to grow. I've been praying and pondering a lot about how God might be speaking to us in our current state. Read full newsletter
While we’re still reconciling final financial reports from 2012 the initial news is very good. Despite some anxiety in the closing months of the year, strong end-of-year giving helped boost our general fund offerings to nearly $81,000, exceeding our goal. Thank you to everyone who helped support our congregation’s ministry financially last year, especially those who were able to respond to the request to give an “extra month.” Read full newsletter
Do you ever find yourself sitting in worship or pondering your faith and wondering “why?” Why do we do the things we do, as individuals or as a church? Why do we believe what we believe? Why worship? Why pray? Why practice nonviolence? During the season of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday on February 13th, we will devote our time together to exploring some of these questions. Read full newsletter
This month marks the conclusion of Pastor Matt’s participation in the 2-year Sustaining Pastoral Excellence, Vital Pastors program. Over the past two years Matt has met monthly with three other pastors to study and reflect upon how church and culture are undergoing massive shifts, how hospitality is a key component in embodying faith and leading others, how even in our congregations death can lead to new life, and how sacred space serves as a grounding point amidst these changing times. Read full newsletterread more »
The movement from one year to the next is what’s known as a “liminal” time. Something is said to be liminal when it occupies a position at the boundary of or on both sides of a particular threshold. It is a time of transition, a time of change, a time of both uncertainty and promise. Read full newsletter
In our December business meeting we approved the cleaning up and re-purposing of the large, upstairs classroom (the “blue” room). If you have any responsibility or connection with any items currently stored in this room, please start finding new places to store them. Read full newsletter
As we begin a new year of worship, fellowship, and ministry we’ll be spending several weeks reflecting on the journey of life and faith we share. Each of us has our own unique stories and experiences, yet our journeys often follow similar patterns. Starting January 13th we’ll explore these themes on Sunday mornings: Befriending, Belonging, Behaving, Believing, and Becoming.
During the month of January we are focusing our outreach giving on supporting our local Community Food Pantry. This past year, the Community Food Pantry gave out 240 turkeys all at Thanksgiving, which is a significant increase over 2011 when 200 turkeys were given out over both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Read full newsletter
Holidays can be stressful. For those hard times, Hildegard of Bingen recommended cookies. Of her cookies she said, "Eat them often and they will calm every bitterness of heart and mind—and your hearing and senses will open. Your mind will be joyous, and your senses purified and harmful humors will diminish." Read full newsletterread more »
As a pastor the high holy days, particularly Christmas and Easter, bring mixed emotions for me. On one hand, these are the times when peoples’ sentimental and spiritual connections to the church are greatest, which is thrilling as a leader. On the other hand, it’s often difficult to either retell the same old stories again and again or find new ways of exploring familiar themes. Read full newsletter
During the 2011-2012 school year at Earlham College, I participated in an online program that involved a series of presentations and discussions regarding intersections between Christianity and LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/allies) issues. As part of this program, I conducted a small, informal survey that explores young adults’ perceptions of homo/transphobia and intolerance toward LGBTQIA people and issues, particularly within a religious context. The purpose of the survey was to get a general sense of what young adults think about these issues. Read full newsletter
Heifer International started with a Church of the Brethren member from Indiana, so it is only fitting that we donate our resources to help the organization continue its work. Dan West was moved by the plight of orphans and refugees of the Spanish Civil War as he ladled out meager rations of powdered milk. He was struck by the idea that the people needed “a cow, not a cup”—cows that could produce milk so families would not have to depend on temporary aid. From that simple idea, Heifer International was born. Read full newsletterread more »
Over the last three days the grandiose oak tree in the neighbor’s yard has fully succumbed to autumn, the cascade of brown leaf litter on the front lawn now awaits our raking and sweeping. The creek behind our house has risen from it’s lowly state brought on by this summer’s drought. Our garden beds have seen their first frost, the vines on the trellis have bid adieu until next year, and it’s impossible to ignore the shortening of each day’s light. Read full newsletter
The community of Holton, Indiana, just north of what used to be Jefferson Proving Ground, was hit by a tornado in early March. The local long term recovery group has plans to build eight new homes for families whose homes were destroyed. They have three homes already started and delivery of the interior and exterior wall units for the next five homes will be before Thanksgiving. They hope to have them all under roof so they can work on them through the winter. Read full newsletter
Most years we move rather quickly from the Thanksgiving holiday into the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas. While Advent usually begins the Sunday directly after Thanksgiving, this year is a bit unusual in that there will be an extra week between Thanksgiving and the start of Advent. This is due to when Thanksgiving falls in the calendar. Read full newsletter
Open Arms Ministry is a local, faith based organization, made up of 14 area churches that pool their resources to serve those who live in poverty in the area. We are located on Richmond State Hospital grounds in Building 415. Our main focus is to be a clearinghouse for resources for people who are facing a crisis situation. Often we are able to direct them to helpful services. Read full newsletterread more »
It may seem like quite the juxtaposition, moving so quickly from a month of focusing on stewardship to turn our attention towards sabbath. After all, isn’t stewardship all about work, work, work, and sabbath aboutnot working? Yet stewardship and sabbath are in fact closely connected and necessary partners in a holistic life of faith and practice. We get into trouble if we spend too much time focusing on one without the other. Read full newsletter
The Community Food Pantry, located on 15th Street, has dozens of volunteers who help dispense food. As representatives of the congregation, Becky McKimmy and I have been volunteering once a month on Tuesdays (plus all 5th Wednesdays). Matt McKimmy, Carol, Bob and Rae Hunter have also pitched in when needed. I also represent both our congregation and West Richmond Friends on the Food Pantry board (which meets every other month). One day this past month almost 50 people came for food in a two hour period. Read full newsletter
Though all of us are ministers of Christ’s Good News, at times we recognize certain persons who have committed their life’s work to set-apart ministry. Ordination is such an occasion, and on Sunday, October 7th we will be celebrating as a community when Todd Reish is ordained in his calling to chaplaincy at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, OH. Read full newsletter
What does sabbath mean for us as 21st-century followers of Jesus? How does this ancient Jewish practice inform our own spirituality? How do you find rest and renewal? On September 30th we began a 6-week focus on “Reclaiming Sabbath” during which we will explore many different paths toward sabbath-keeping in our culture and context. Read full newsletterread more »
Check out this month's edition of Intersections from the Richmond Church of the Brethren.
You might be quick to expect that during a month when we’re focusing on stewardship that a newsletter column titled “Living with Less” would promote personal austerity in hopes that you then would give more money to the church budget. Of course, a little over half of our budget goes towards pastoral compensation. Read full newsletter
Ice cream, including non-dairy options, and sundae toppings will be available along with a variety of games for all ages. Bethany, ESR, Earlham, IU East and other college students and staff and all members and friends of our congregation are encouraged to attend! Read full newsletter
Contributions to the General Fund for the first 33 weeks of 2012 have totaled $41,463. If giving continues at the same weekly average for the remainder of 2012 we can anticipate $68,171 at the end of December. We would then fall short of our budget of $80,000 by $11,800. Read full newsletter
An important part of our annual focus on stewardship is the opportunity for each of us to consider the relationship between our faith and our finances. Of all the various ways we talk about continuing the work of Jesus and participating in God’s new kingdom we don’t often spend much time discussing the sometimes-troubling topic of money. Read full newsletterread more »