Read the April Visitor for stories about how, two years after the death of Freddie Gray, churches in Baltimore are ministering in hurting neighborhoods; how churches in Columbus are tangible touches of love to prisoner and prositutes; how Psalm 22 is a psalm for the cross, and more!
Read and share these stories from the April Visitor:
Several months ago, Don Russell’s doctor asked him to listen to his heartbeat and then his own.
“His heart was just the perfect ‘thump thump’ sound,” said Don, an 85-year old resident of Laurel, Md., and a member of Chesapeake Conference's Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md. “When I listened to mine, it was sort of this squishy sound like blood trying to force its way through the valve.”
Time to Act
Historia de Tamyra Horst
Gary Gibbs, actualmente director de Desarrollo de Ministerios en la Conferencia de Chesapeake, ha aceptado la invitación para servir como presidente de la Conferencia de Pensilvania después de la partida del ex presidente, Ray Hartwell.
“Gary es un excelente líder tanto para pastores como para laicos con pasión por las almas”, afirma Dave Weigley, presidente de la Unión Columbia y presidente del comité de selección que eligió a Gibbs. Comenzará su nueva posición el 1ero de mayo.
“Estoy feliz de unirme a los pastores, educadores y miembros de la Conferencia de Pensilvania en el adelanto del evangelio y para prepararnos para el pronto regreso de Jesús”, comparte Gibbs.—
Editorial by Tiffany Brown
Why do we go to church on Saturday, and why is the Sabbath important?”
These were the kinds of questions Joksan Cedillo-Gomez wondered about and asked. However, he never got a satisfying answer. “Because it’s in the Bible. Twice!” he was told.
Later, as youth director of his church, he found himself repeating the same brief answers to his peers and other youth who came to him with questions.
After enrolling in the REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School last summer, he learned that the Sabbath invites us to experience a connection—in our relationship with God and each other. It’s a time where we can worship, fellowship and grow; a time of jubilee—where we are all equal, regardless of our socioeconomic status.
A Transformative Experience
Blog by Rob Vandeman
It could have had application to a person who was going through very difficult days. But it is not a psalm written out of illness or perplexing situation, it is a description of an execution. Renowned commentator Derek Kidner writes, “No incident recorded of David can begin to account for this. . . The language of the psalm defies a naturalistic explanation; the best account is in the terms used by Peter concerning another psalm of David: ‘Being therefore a prophet, . . . he foresaw and spoke of . . . the Christ’ (Acts 2:30f.).
Interview by V. Michelle Bernard
José Cortés, New Jersey Conference president, was a young pastor when he was thrown into jail in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Cortés shares this story in one of the North American Division’s sharing books, Never Lose Hope. Read more about the book and our interview with Cortés below.
"Some of the tension that exists, exists because the peacemakers aren't providing the platforms for the conversations," said John T. Boston, II, lead pastor at Allegheny West Conference's Central church in Columbus, Ohio.
Watch Boston's entire talk on racism and religion at Ohio Conference's Kettering church in Dayton.
Minnie McNeil, who co-founded and advises a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing housing and supportive services in Coatesville, Pa., says every member everywhere has the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love in a variety of ways, regardless of if they live in the city or country, in an affluent or poor area. She offers 10 tips for starting a ministry and making an impact:
1. Pray for guidance.
2. Identify the vision, mission and goals of the church; available resources, including leadership; and capability and potential to sustain outreach ministry.
3. Plan to have ongoing community involvement, not a one-time event.
4. Assess and research the strengths and needs of the community. Don’t assume.