Providing concrete suggestions for congregations seeking to become more involved in social outreach, this resource was produced by Hartford Seminary’s Faith Communities Today and the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership. Relying on social science research, the authors describe the role of outreach in the formation of “compassionate congregations,” and make a number of suggestions for churches seeking to explore future outreach ministries. Zingery and Breeden also make suggestions about how best to cultivate a social justice orientation within a congregation, recognizing that this can take a variety of different forms. The recommendations are suitable for small congregations, as well as for those with existing outreach ministries, with an emphasis on the positive impact this out-ward facing approach in education and action can have on a congregation’s health and vitality. The authors also recommend additional resources for exploring this effort within the congregation.
Reviewed by Melissa Spa