How to Start a Church with Three Showers and a Trailer

Pastor Emily Norris had a vision for The Dwelling, a new church she was planting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A combined effort of the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA and the Southern Province of the Moravian Church, The Dwelling began its life on February 1, 2020, to minister to those experiencing homelessness in the city. Pastor Norris had a few years of funding secured … Continue reading How to Start a Church with Three Showers and a Trailer

Nine Lessons from a Church Planter Emerging from the Pandemic

by Rev. Michael Baughman Construct a generative culture: I’m convinced that church plants, despite being poorly funded and generally unstable, were better positioned to thrive in the pandemic than most congregations. Adaptive change is baked into the early DNA of any successful entrepreneurial venture—church or otherwise. Healthy church plants adapt as they learn more about their community, their mission and their own strengths. They constantly start … Continue reading Nine Lessons from a Church Planter Emerging from the Pandemic

Work to Do: Ministry to Littles During the Pandemic

by Dr. Dawn Rundman Since March of 2020, I have been listening to children, youth and family ministry leaders wrestle with the devastating effects of the pandemic in their congregations, communities and the broader world. I’ve also learned about the remarkable innovations leaders like you have demonstrated, showing your commitment to supporting kids and families in new and creative ways. Thank you for your faithfulness … Continue reading Work to Do: Ministry to Littles During the Pandemic

Reflections on Pandemic Ministry

by Rev. Marla Rotman One of the things a person has to do to become a pastor is get over their fear of public speaking. I remember back to when I first began—the knees shaking, the sweaty palms, the dry mouth. And, at the time, the best advice out there was, “Imagine everyone in their underwear.” I don’t know about you, but that didn’t cut … Continue reading Reflections on Pandemic Ministry

Offering Support for Pandemic Grief

by Joy Hensel On the Road to Emmaus  Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16 NRSV) … Continue reading Offering Support for Pandemic Grief

Grief, Loss and Care Through a Pandemic

by Mark Jackson A few weeks into the pandemic, I received the call no youth leader wants to get: “One of our teens died in a car accident last night. So did her mom.” Returning from a Memorial Day weekend trip, a mom, her daughter and the family’s beloved dog died at the scene. Another daughter was airlifted to a trauma center with life-threatening injuries … Continue reading Grief, Loss and Care Through a Pandemic

Hearing BIPOC Young People During Times of Crisis

An Interview with Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin: Connect Journal: We’ve been living in a pandemic for over a year, accompanied by uprisings, protests, and heightened awareness of and actions against systemic racism. How do you think ministry leaders can be tuned into the ways COVID-19 is intertwined with the lives of BIPOC people? Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin: The first thing about this question is to reframe our … Continue reading Hearing BIPOC Young People During Times of Crisis

Technology and the Power to Reshape

by Rev. Angela Denker I’ve always been a big fan of integrating technology into my ministry. During my pastoral internship in Las Vegas, our church livestreamed all five worship services, and pastors were expected to use images and slides for all their sermons. Later in ministry, in my third call, my responsibilities included recording a weekly podcast and developing creative, technology-centered sermon series and worship … Continue reading Technology and the Power to Reshape

Ministry in the Time of a Pandemic

by Anna Madsen. The joke about, and in, my family is that we are the Vortex of Chaos. Clearly, and utterly unrelatedly, it would make an awesome name for a band. But that notwithstanding (even though so very true), we really are the Original Vortex of Chaos. Just in the last few weeks, for example, I’ve had to: wrestle the Minnesota DMV to the ground … Continue reading Ministry in the Time of a Pandemic