Bridges and Doors
by Dale T. Irvin
Citing the work of George Simmel, one of the founders of modern sociology, the author leads us from the simple concepts of doors as either entrances or barriers that firm up separations to bridges as building connections among people, churches, and denominations. The point readers are swept along to see reflects the need for openness and welcoming in their quest to serve God.
When White People Preach about Race
by Donna Schaper
This instructive, insightful article is by a senior pastor who has dealt with interracial matters for much of her life. Unafraid to address both the pitfalls and the successes of speaking about race from the pulpit, she offers sage advice as she recounts personal experiences and opinions that pastors may find useful in their own ministries.
An Invitation to Multi-Cultural Ministry
by Keith Russell
When a congregation is short on funds, there may be a temptation to rent the Sanctuary and/or spaces to another church group. The author offers alternative ideas for growing a church that avoids the possible pitfalls of rentals and yet creates opportunities for new worship experiences with their own rewards.
Building Bridges in New York City: Starting With Churches
by Moses O. Biney
This powerful article is based on a project with theological, ethical, and sociological underpinnings that successfully explored new ways of engaging ecumenical relationships and fostering congregational inclusiveness. It can be eye-opening and offers useful insights for those who live in divided neighborhoods and larger areas—all of us.
Nothing Happens on a Subway
by Jerry Reisig
The author shares his experiences while riding the subway to and from work every day as to the valuable and useful insights he gained concerning race relations, raising self-awareness, as well as observing others who share space while hitchhiking cross country and traveling under diverse neighborhoods across the city.
Multi-Cultural Ministry: A Model for Cooperation
by Ernest H. Jones
In his argument for choosing cooperation as a useful way to build and expand a ministry, Jones delves into a theory by author Alfie Kohn whose thesis was that competition is not innate or organic but often a failing strategy. Using cooperation as a tactic was Paul’s successful way of expanding Christ’s ministry.
by Neal Presa
Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today by Mark Labberton, and Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller.
Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
by Jin Hee Han
Our spring offering of 2015 brings together articles written by scholars and practitioners whose work can be nicely summed up as that of bridge-building. This theme is in line with the kind of service rendered for the reign of God by preachers of local churches, facilitators of lay empowerment, and others who are engaged in specialized ministries in our multifaceted society.
Our contributors to this issue may appear to be realists when they shed light on challenges that abound. Their key points, however, underscore that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through [God] who loved us” (Rom 8:37).
Understanding as a Means of Creating Connections
by Alfred Correa
Genesis 2:18 tells us: “it is not good for humankind to be alone.” So communication among youth and adults in our churches is vitally important for the growth and strength of congregations, but there is often a disconnect between these two groups. This article explores ways in which the two seemingly disparate groups can come together for their common good.
Birth: A Metaphor for the Process of Spiritual and Social Transformation
by Rebeca M. Radillo
Here is an insight into and a reflection upon a non-physical event crucial to becoming a mature spiritual and socially responsible human being. From the time of our birth, we are surrounded by cultural, political, philosophical, and religious forces. We tend to internalize our milieu and often become comfortable with the status quo. Our risk is to become complacent and self righteous if we fail to thrive in our own social and spiritual development.
Birth, Death, and Becoming Like God: Reflections on a New Testament Theme
by Michael J. Gorman
The incarnation and the atonement are like bookends in the Jesus-narrative, and each of them is also linked closely to Jesus’ life. Jesus became one of us to change peoples’ perspectives and expectations, and he did that throughout his ministry. It is precisely because of his actions that he was crucified as a threat to the religious and political status quo.