Being Church

Local Congregations Anticipating Eden, by Craig L. Nessan, Wartburg Theological Seminary

Notes for presentation to the 2022 Rural Ministry Conference hosted by the Center for Theology and Land at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa USA, and ZOOMed around the world as part of IRCA 2022 Round the World.

Key Question: How do we imagine congregations as “local places” and “anticipatory communities” (Larry
Rasmussen) that 1) practice sustainability and 2) model sustainable practices for others?

Let’s Talk Faith and Climate: How to create your own message, handouts for presentation by Rev Melanie Mullan, Episcopal Church director of reconciliation, justice and creations care, given to the 2022 Rural Ministry Conference hosted by the Center for Theology and Land at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa USA, and ZOOMed around the world as part of IRCA 2022 Round the World.

Check Out presentations from around the World

Glimpsing an Authentic New Vision, March 22, 2022

Much of the resistance to change encountered in smaller churches comes because implementing change implies abandoning the past. Small rural churches are not doomed to failure and death. Many of these older congregations have found a new life and a new energy for ministry by catching a glimpse of new possibilities, but that new vision is almost never imposed upon them by an outside source. In a small church, the recommendations of consultants and the strategies of judicatory emphases are generally received with skepticism and doubt. Yet when the vision emerges from within the leadership of the church, it is received in trust, especially when it reflects the heart of the congregation and members have had a voice in its emergence. Read more here

The Good News of Complete Desperation by Tyler Kleeberger, Ministry Matters October 18th, 2021

Three Big Skills Every Small-Church Pastor Needs by Rebekah Simon-Peter, Ministry Matters October 5th, 2021

Talking about Salt: Challenging conversations for the Christian community – Saltbush Uniting Scattered Communities (NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia)

Christology and Ethos 2020 – Saltbush Uniting Scattered Communities (NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia)

Rural Faith Communities as Anchor Institutions Institute for Emerging Issues, North Carolina State University, USA

Resources for Churches Devon Churches Rural Forum

Articles/Podcasts/Videos Rural Home Missionary Association Planting and Strengthening Churches in Small-town America

Ecological Christianity an edition of Candour magazine, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

Engaging Videos for Church

United Church Rural Ministry Network (Canada) resources

Practical Help for Christian Ministry John Truscott Church Consultant and Trainer, St Albans UK.

Mind your own Business a free rural business start up programme for individuals, small groups and churches

Equipping for Rural Mission a four session programme for churches to research and develop an mission plan

Journey to Faith helping church members tell their story

Discipleship resources

Caring for Creation study guide, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand 2009

Growing the Rural Church Diocese of Exeter, England

Sources for Ecotheology Luther Seminar, St Paul, MN, USA