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Got Resolutions for the Church? Read the January Visitor
Story by Celeste Ryan Blyden
In the January issue of the Visitor magazine Celeste Ryan Blyden, the magazine’s editor in chief, asks nine young pastors from across the Columbia Union about resolutions. However, their responses have nothing to do with losing weight or eating better. They offer resolutions for our church. Click here to read the five-page cover story sharing their suggestions. Of course they had so much more to say than we could print. Get more of their discussion by watching this month's Columbia Union Story facilitated by Pastor David Franklin at www.columbiaunion.org/videos.
Here is an excerpt of the article: Jason Foster, 35, lives and works to connect the disconnected everyday. His resolution for the church? Ditch the comfort food! From his base at the Pennsylvania Conference, he serves as assistant boys dean at Blue Mountain Academy in Hamburg, director of Laurel Lake Summer Camp in Lassiter and associate pastor at the Grace Outlet church in Reading.
His concerns may explain why so many are disconnecting from our church family: “People become apathetic because they have no real investment in the church, making the case to leave it pretty strong. Getting people involved in an intimate community and genuine service is a recipe that fights apathy,” theorized the Georgia native and newlywed. “In other cases, members are doing something that, though once was most likely meaningful, is now like comfort food. It has no real value, but you can’t stop eating it.”
He’s glad to be involved in Grace Outlet, which rents a ballet studio in an old goggle factory in downtown Reading, that’s now a center for arts and events. That’s where he, senior pastor Kris Eckenroth and a group of over 100 are intentionally seeking out and building relationships with people who aren’t connected to a community of believers. From hosting pajama parties and bonfires to coordinating worship and acts of service, they’re dispelling apathy one Sabbath at a time.
Click here to read resolutions from eight other pastors. You can also click here to see the pastors discuss these resolutions in a series of eight, short videos that will be uploaded over the next two days.
Jason Foster serves as assistant boys dean at Blue Mountain Academy in Hamburg, Pa.; director of Laurel Lake Summer Camp in Lassiter and associate pastor at the Grace Outlet church in Reading.
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