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After the Election

The 2020 election is just days away. The CRG has provided resources to keep congregations informed of how they can navigate the stresses of dealing with contentious politics in and around their communities. But what about after the election? What about the possible conflicts that may arise as a result of the election? 

Auburn Seminary hosted a multi-faith conversation entitled, “Faith Leaders Call for Moral Courage Now” with Auburn President, Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, along with Dr. Keisha McKenzie and Dr. Sharon Groves from Auburn’s program team, in conversation with Auburn Senior Fellows Stosh Cotler (CEO, Bend the Arc) and Rev. Brian McLaren (Activist and Public Theologian).

Watch as these five faith and justice leaders discuss how they prepared for the 2020 election and for its possible aftermath. What will our responses communicate to the world about who we are? How will we leverage the outcome of the election to build a better world? Will relationships and trust really help create change and if so, how can our congregation do the work

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Compassionate Response to Sexual Assault Survivors

Though the #MeToo movement has brought greater media attention to sexual assault, it is not a new phenomenon. There are countless examples of congregations and denominations acting in ways that proved harmful to victims. Even the most well-intentioned leaders can inflict pain due to a lack of information and preparation. 

The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault has put together a host of resources for congregations seeking to get ahead of the game. As any great leader will tell you, the best plans are laid well before they’re needed. If your congregation would like information on working with law enforcement and other professionals to form Sexual Assault Response Teams, check out the SART guide. There are also other workshops and trainings offered through ICESA that congregations can take advantage of. Finally, to gain a better perspective on the ways sexual assault impacts victims, watch the Break The Silence video.

 


 


 

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Encouragement and Engagement for the 2020 Election

A critical presidential election looms before us. Christians want to play a constructive role and make a positive difference, but often are unsure how to get involved and what issues to address. Letters to the Church seeks to help the church:

  • to think again about God’s presence and purposes in our lives and in the world
  • to shine the light and language of our faith on issues and situations that diminish individuals and threaten our common life
  • and to prompt us all to think about what it means to be the church in the face of these particular challenges and opportunities.

Designed for individuals and church study groups, the book begins with a letter to pastors and a letter to congregations. Pastors and congregations share a mutual vulnerability these days that is hampered by an inability or lack of interest in open, honest, faith-informed conversations.

What We Are Experiencing Now - letters in this section address the anxiety of often feeling on-edge and off-balance, the craving for certainty, the revival of deadly prejudices and unresolved grief.

What We Hope - readers can envision an inclusive American family portrait, the hope of trusting each other again, the desire to see courageous leadership exercised and the need for clarity between ethical commitments and political maneuvering.

What We Are Called To - letters encourage acts of confession and justice, careful and critical thinking, the need for allies, recognition of when to support and when to resist and a path for constructive engagement.

Each letter names a specific issue and describes the importance of that issue for our country and for this particular election season. Each letter concludes with reflections on “The Witness of the Church.”

Whatever the outcome of any heavily partisan election where money and shrill voices are likely to dominate, our first calling is to be the church, to be light to the world. Letters to the Church seeks to support the church in that vocation through re-centering ourselves, clarifying our commitments and engaging courageously.
 

Books
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book
Vital Merger: A New Church Start Approach that Joins Church Families Together
This book offers a proven model to ensure the success of a church merger, one that looks more like a fresh start versus a last-ditch effort that will only delay decline. Here, a merger is likened to a marriage, and the book provides a step-by-step guide towards commitment.
book
Why They Stay: Helping Parents and Church Leaders Make Investments That Keep Children and Teens Connected to the Church for a Lifetime
Based on a survey of young adults, this resource reveals what congregations and parents can do to keep young people from leaving church.
book
Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore: And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Church Irresistible
This resource seeks to combat the decline of the American church by providing congregations with four acts of love that can make your church a positive place for people.
Articles
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article
Relocation Manual for Pastors and Church Leaders
This digital manual provides rich insight and practical considerations to discern about relocating your congregation.
article
Eight Steps for Selecting Fundraising Counsel
This succinct and practical article outlines an eight-step process for choosing fundraising counsel.
article
The Guide to New Church Models
This compilation of essays and interviews looks at seven novel ways that congregations are expressing what it means to be communities of faith.
Web Resources
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web resource
Helping Your Church Respond to the Coronavirus
This United Methodist resource page offers a variety of information and trainings to help churches continue congregational life online.
web resource
Governance in Small Congregations
This article has advice for small congregations to create a right-sized governance system.
web resource
WordPress
This organization hosts template-based websites and allows users to customize their web presence.
Organizations
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American Community Gardening Association
This organization provides online resources and in-person services for food and gardening, urban forestry, and land preservation.
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Anathoth Community Garden & Farm
This garden and farm acts as a local community center and offers a space for spiritual growth and leadership training.
organization Updated
Blessed Earth: Serving God, Saving the Planet
This organization provides educational resources to equip and inspire congregations in the work of Earth stewardship and sustainability.
Media
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media
Virtual Shabbat Box
Ideal for congregants at home or at a distance, these video and audio clips engage the senses as healing rituals.
media
Coping with Crisis: Webinars for Youth
These recorded events support youth ministry leaders and parents during COVID-19 with advice from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.
media
Prayer of Examen
These poignant guided meditations by Fuller Studio facilitate the calming experience of contemplative prayer.
Events
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Academy of Preachers Festival of Preaching
The Festival of Preaching is an ecumenical event for Christian teens and young adults who discern a call to preaching. The festival offers opportunities for participants to preach, receive feedback, connect with peers, and develop mentorships.
event
International Catholic Stewardship Council Annual Conference
This four-day conference is dedicated to advancing Christian stewardship, Catholic philanthropy, and resource development in North America.
event
Davidson Centre for the Professions – The Clergy Program
This program for clergy offers a weeklong residential retreat that takes a holistic approach to pastoral self-care.
Periodicals
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Church Finance Today
This e-newsletter covers timely finance topics such as record keeping, business expenses, church office security, internal controls, best practices for donations, and money management.
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Lifelong Faith Journal
The Life Long Faith Journal is an online free magazine available in PDF format that covers a wide range of topics, such as: faith formation in a missional age, cultivating a community of practice, the emerging media and the gospel, church leaders and tech visionaries, hybrid networking, drawing children to the center of congregational life, faith formation in small congregations, less talk-more action, infant faith formation and doing children’ s ministry differently.
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Church Health Reader
The quarterly Church Health Reader recognizes the challenge of maintaining spiritual, emotional, physical and social well-being in a world of stress, violence, confusing value systems and social turmoil and offers practical, timely instruction and helpful options.
Software
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WeShare: Online Giving for Churches and Other Community Organizations
This company makes online donation software that can be used with computers, tablets, and smartphones, and through credit cards, debit cards, or electronic transfer of funds.
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Vanco Payment Solutions
This software offers online giving and electronic financial services for organizations including religious institutions, where donors can give online, use credit cards, have funds transferred electronically, or donate via a text message.
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SecureGive
This customizable giving platform provides many giving and reporting options for large congregations.
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