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Our Church Made the Local Paper

Discussion in 'Disciples of Christ DIR' started by CaptainXeroid, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Our local newspaper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has a Saturday section called Faith and Values that has a listing of local churches and articles concerning religion. When our pastor begin service mentioning the paper, I thought he was promoting our 'Faith and Values' Sunday School class, until he mentioned this nice article. :cool:

    Church has foundation of embracing diversity
    [SIZE=-2]Candice Hannigan - For the Journal-Constitution[/SIZE]

    [FONT=geneva,arial,helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-2]Saturday, August 19, 2006[/SIZE][/FONT]


    [FONT=arial,helvetica,geneva,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Mission statement
    "Resolve to love, agree to differ, unite to serve, break bread together."
    History The congregation was founded 85 years ago this Christmas. The current facility was built in 1950. The church has had only five pastors in the last 73 years and has been involved in the ordination of 19 men and women to Christian ministry. Throughout its history, First Christian has played an active role in the civil rights movement, and opened its doors to people of all races in the 1960s.


    Pastor's path
    (James) Brewer-Calvert earned a master's of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York and a doctorate of ministry from Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky. He's served congregations in New York, Texas and Tennessee. His parents were urban missionaries, which placed him in congregation that he called "a true melting pot."
    "My three brothers and I were raised in a local church in Harlem, and we witnessed the amazing power and grace of God at work among America's poorest and oppressed people," said Brewer-Calvert. "I didn't know I was Caucasian until I went to junior high school outside of east Harlem and saw racism."

    Brewer-Calvert and his brothers, as well as members of the Harlem youth group, are involved in ministries of reconciliation, renewal and hope.

    Ministries
    Creative children's and youth programs highlight the church's ministries. Brewer-Calvert said church members and neighbors created "an amazing park and playground that has the unofficial world record for the most used swing set." The park offers a safe and shady play place for families. "We're delighted with the playground because it symbolizes church, and the neighborhood working together to build something positive for all," he said. The church created and sustains the Decatur Cooperative Ministry and the Decatur Emergency Assistance ministry, ecumenical programs that help empower, feed and house impoverished members of the community, the pastor said. The congregation hosts meetings of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and offers the church lawn as a place to watch Decatur's July 4th fireworks display. For Brewer-Calvert, accepting and listening is part of the ministry offered at First Christian. "It's not all activity. Part of the ministry of the church is encouraging people to listen, helping people to sit with God in prayer."

    Thoughts from the pastor
    "First Christian Church faithfully seeks to reflect the diversity of Decatur and our surrounding cities. We're a unique and blessed blend of people from all walks of life," said Brewer-Calvert. "Here people find an open table to which everyone is invited to reconnect with Christ. Here there are no barriers, no lines in the sand no creed but Christ."
    [email protected]

    FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF DECATUR
    • 601 W. Ponce de Leon, Decatur, GA 30030
    • Phone: 404-378-3621
    • Web site: www.decaturdisciples.org.
    • E-mail: [email protected]
    • Services:. 8:30 a.m. Awakenings service in chapel, 9:30 classes for all ages, 10:50 a.m. sanctuary service
    • Worship style: Blend of traditional, contemporary with open communion
    • Average attendance: 120
    • Pastor: James Brewer-Calvert
    • Denomination affiliation: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) www.disciples.org.
    Source. You have to be registered at AJC.com to read it there.
    [/SIZE][/FONT]
     
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  2. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    If only every sect of every religion in the world could have a mission statement like this, we would experience true harmony in mankind. Your church is a shining example for all of us! :flower:




    Peace,
    Mystic
     
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  3. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Thank you for the kind words. We have quite a diverse congregation, so do a lot of each of the four parts of our mission statement.:)
     
  4. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    I'd love to visit your church someday. It's website looked and felt so inviting, warm, and refreshing.



    Peace,
    Mystic
     
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    What a great statement! This is why I love this denomination.
     
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Sounds like a place that knows Christ.
     
  7. evearael

    evearael Well-Known Member

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    How did I miss this thread? That is a truly wonderful mission statement, CX! Thanks for sharing the article. :)
     
  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I looked through your Churches web site and The Churches national web site; I find that I agree with everything I have read; though of course I have questions.
    Two of which are...
    How literally does the church take the Bible?
    Do you have women Pastors?
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Our seminaries are fairly liberal, teaching a more critical approach to Biblical scholarship. Historically, our founders took a more critical approach (and they disagreed, sometimes violently, with each other!) I should think that most modern Disciples also take a more critical approach, although there are a fair number who are "literalists," as well.

    Yes!!! Women have been active in preaching and evangelizing since at least 1815. Some of the first (it's difficult to determine with any certainty) women actually ordained were Ellen Grant Gustin in 1873, Emi B. Frank at about the same time, Melissa Garrett Terrell in 1867, and Laura D. Garst, Mary L. Adams and Josephine W. Smith, ordained to missionary service in 1883.
     
  10. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    How truly wonderful, CX. :clap2:

    Jay posted the mission statement from (I presume) his synagogue a little while back and it was very similar in some ways. If only we could all agree to disagree, to let people worship as their consciences sincerely lead them, and to respect and love and serve each other.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    IMO, we all tend to get way too caught up in serving 1) our beliefs, 2) our religions, 3) our perspectives, instead of doing as Christ asked, which is to serve each other.
     
  12. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    First, thank you for your kind words, and I apologize for forgetting to check back here for so long.:eek: Second, sojourner gave some excellent answers.:clap I'll just add a few things

    As for the Bible, I think most Disciples believe that its authors were inspired by God, but that it is not necessarily the inerrant word of God. If I may paraphrase what many of us might say, it is more important to understand the lesson Jesus was teaching than to quote the exact words that were used to convey the parable.

    Our church had a female Associate Pastor a few years ago, and our church has ordained or nurtured on the path to ordination at least 5 woman that I can think of. Yesterday's sermon on the book of Ezra was delivered by a woman who serves as chaplain at a well-known hospital.
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I know lots of female clergy, and the seminaries are full of them. At Phillips Theological Seminary, I believe the female students actually outnumber the male students (although this represents a cross section of several denominations).
     
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