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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Honey Bees and New Life

An excerpt from "The Gift of Honey and the Promise of God" by Ashley Goff of Church of the Pilgrims, in Dupont Circle. Published in Faith & Leadership.



...By that fall, we had expanded to our current three hives and wanted to integrate our garden more intentionally into the life of worship at Pilgrims. One of our first ideas came easily. In the ancient church, the first meal the newly baptized received was milk and honey. It was to remind them of the sweetness of life in Christ and the “promised land” they were now entering because of their baptism.
Drawing on this ancient tradition and the biblical stories, we began sharing milk and honey with our newly baptized, along with these words, added to our liturgy: With the living waters, may the justice and mercy of God flow from you like the sweetness of milk and honey. ...

We badly need reminders of the new that Jesus Christ gives. But our need is not out of a lack of such reminders. Lord, grant us the eyes to see your work in the world and the people around us.

--
John Marienau Turpin
TCDC

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Line

Passing along the invite:


You're invited to the official world premiere of The Line on Tuesday, October 2 in Washington,DC! From Emmy award-winning producer Linda Midgett, The Line is a groundbreaking documentary chronicling the new face of poverty in America.

Immediately following the screening, a panel of experts—featuring Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, and producer Linda Midgett—will discuss the film and its impact.

The event is free and open to the public; however an RSVP is required as space is limited.

Please click here to RSVP.

Guests must plan to arrive at The Gwendolyn and Morris Cafritz Theatre no later than 7:30 p.m.

Since this event will be filmed, guests who arrive after 7:30 p.m. will be denied entry. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

With over 1,000 simultaneous screenings across the country, we hope that you will join us for this very special premiere in DC!

October 2, 2012
World Premiere of The Line -www.thelinemovie.com
8:00 – 9:30 p.m. ET (Guests must arrive by 7:30 p.m.)

The Gwendolyn and Morris Cafritz Theatre
Columbia Heights Education Campus
3101 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010

Contact: Sojourners, media@sojo.net
RSVP at www.sojo.net/thelinedc by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28!



--
Blythe Scott

Loving the fatherless

There are 373 kids waiting for adoptive families in the foster care system in DC. there are about 800 churches in DC. that means if ONE famly in every 2 or 3 churches in DC adopted ONE kid, there would be NO kids in the foster care system. and if every family in every church was involved in supporting families in need in some way (helping provide food, job resources, counseling, parenting classes, etc), the Church would PREVENT the situations that cause kids to enter the foster care system in the first place. The Church can literally make sure there are no more fatherless children.

This is our calling as the Church - God tells us to "seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; defend the cause of the needy." (Isaiah 1:17) And just as He adopted us through Christ into His family (Ephesians 1:4-5), He desires us to show His love to the world in the way we adopt others into our family. Fostering and adoption is one of the biggest ways we can tangibly show the love of Christ to these children and the rest of the world. And if you aren't in a place to foster or adopt (like me), there are many other ways you can love the fatherless: by mentoring foster kids, and by supporting biological, foster, and adoptive families through counseling, respite services, and other resources so they are better able to support their children. You can look into organizations like Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center and Family and Youth Initiative for different opportunities.

A group of churches are also planning on doing a big foster care and adoption awareness event in January, which we would love your help promoting to your churches. And before that, we will be doing a lunch for pastors and other church leaders to talk more about this event, and our vision for the Church as a whole uniting together to make sure all children in DC have a family. You'll be hearing more about this, but please email me now if you would definitely like to be invited to this brunch!


Blythe Scott
Blythe@districtchurch.org

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fight human trafficking

Human trafficking is referred to as modern day slavery. Today, more children, women and men are held in slavery than over the course of the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade. And some of these people are enslaved right here in the U.S. - and right here in DC. Human trafficking is one of the worst injustices imaginable: buying, selling, and using people's bodies, taking something from them against their will. God's Word makes it clear we are to fight for the cause of the oppressed, and this is undoubtedly one of the clearest situations of oppresion in our world today. To learn more about human trafficking, as well as what some faith groups are doing to combat this injustice, check our FAAST's website. There are also a group of churches here in the DC area meeting to talk about working together to fight human trafficking, so if you're interested in learning more about that send me an email.

There are two upcoming opportunities for the Church in DC to take action now in the fight against human trafficking:

1) Bittersweet Benefit; Friday, October 12th at 7:30pm
This is an event to raise money for four organizations doing amazing work to fight human trafficking: Courtney's House, Restoration Ministries, Polaris Project, and Fair Girls. More details forthcoming, If you're interested, email me!

2) Stop Modern Slavery Walk; September 29th at noon, starting in front of the Washington Monument
This walk is a chance to march together with thousands of others against the atrocity of human trafficking, and a way to physically stand in support of the organizations that are committed to a slavery-free future. Restoration Ministries, a non-profit my church has partnered with several times for other events, is one of the 15 organizations that benefits from the proceeds of this walk, so please come out and support them! This walk is also great way to get educated on the other anti-slavery initiatives in the DC area. If you'd like to walk, you can go here to register a team. Registration is $25 ($15 for students).


Blythe Scott
blythe@districtchurch.org

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/24 Lecture: Theology in the Public Square


On September 24, The John Leland Center for Theological Studies will host the 40th Annual Faculties' Convocation for the Washington Theological Consortium beginning at 3:30 p.m. with a prayer service, and a public lecture and discussion at 4:00pm.  

The title of the Lecture could not be more fitting for Leland's sponsorship: Theology and the Public Square.  Our commitment to equip transformational leaders for the global ministry of Jesus Christ demands theological reflection, not only for congregational life, but for all the vocations God gives his people inside and outside the church.  So important is this aspect of ministry preparation that our newest degree program focuses one of two possible tracks directly on the question of leadership outside the congregational setting.  And theology is at the heart of all Christian leadership.  So the WTC Lecture this year is a very timely opportunity for our students, faculty, and alums.

The lecture will be given by Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.  A response will be given by Shaun Casey, Professor of Christian Ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary and Consultant to the Project on Religion and Post Conflict Reconstruction at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

via The John Leland Center
306 N. Highland St. Arlington, VA
The lecture will be at the main campus
--
John Marienau Turpin, TCDC
Editor's note: I had a class with Shaun Casey in 2010. He's well worth listening to, as I'm sure is Dr. Dorrien.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Opportunities to partner

Christian unity is so important to our witness for Christ in this world - especially in the world today, as the political sphere is intensely vicious and Christians are particularly vulnerable to being used by all sides. It is so important that now, in a time of such uncertainty and ugliness, the Church shows the selflessness and love of Christ in our unity and in our love for others. And one of the ways we can do this is by working together to bring God's redemption to our city, partnering with each other in various joint initiatives, and supporting and advancing each other's work - and in doing so making the Gospel's message stronger.


There are always many opportunities for partnership among churches in DC, but I've recently had several great meetings with leaders from some other churches that have gotten me especially excited! Below are some opportunities for partnership I wanted to share with you all, in the hope that through working together on initiatives like this we may develop deeper relationships and more effectively further Christ's purposes in our city. Please contact me if you want to learn more about the partnership possiblities for any of these opportunities:


- Several churches in the DC area have been talking for awhile now about wanting to learn how the Church in DC can best join the fight against human trafficking. There are a group of us from several different churches meeting on September 12th to discuss our various ideas, experiences, and the holes God could be calling the Church in DC to fill in the fight against trafficking. Let me know if your church would like to be a part of this meeting!


- The District Chuch recently held our first Disaster Relief training, in order to certify some of our members (about 25 of us) to be First Responders in DC in the event of an emergency. Ricky Creech, President of the DC Baptist Convention, has partnered with the DC government to help form the first all-volunteer emergency responder team, and is in the process of training individuals to join this team. This is a huge, very visible way the Church in DC can join together to practically serve and love our city. It is going to be an awesome thing to see the first all-volunteer emergency responders in DC made up of the Church! If you would like Ricky to come do a training for your church so you can have a team join us as First Responders, email me and I'll put you in touch with Ricky.


- Northwest Community Church has a regular homeless ministry called The Refuge, as well as a weekly food drop-off to needy families, both of which are open to more volunteers. These are consistent, well-run ministries that provide great opportunities for collaboration among churches in serving the poor. If you want to find out more about either of these opportunities, email Krista Kartson at kkartson@aol.com


- Northwest Community Church and The District Church have been talking about the need for some type of single parent ministry. This ministry would provide parenting classes, babysitters to give parents a night off every once in a while, and other resources/services. If you're interested in talking with us more about what this could look like, please email me!


Blythe Scott

blythe@districtchurch.org