March 1, 2013

World Day of Prayer

Psalm 63:1-8
Daniel 12:1-4
Revelation 3:1-6

What makes a church healthy?  Turns out that following Jesus’ example of helping the poor and doing justice increases a church’s vitality. The Rev. Mike Denton, UCC conference minister for the Pacific Northwest, cites a report from Hartford Seminary and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research titled, “The Compassionate Congregation”.   The report suggests, “A strong, positive correlation exists between having a wide breadth of social ministries and having a high vitality congregation.” The statistics are impressive. “Almost 90 percent of those with a high level of justice programs are vital, compared to only 46 percent who have little involvement in justice issues.”  It makes sense, especially when we consider how energizing it feels to help someone in need. “The church being involved in the work of social justice is no small, easily dismissed thing,” the Rev. Denton said. “It is this faithful work that means life for the church and hope for the world.”

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