Renewal

Jubilee Farms


Can a farm and a worshiping congregation coexist, expressing their love for God, their care for creation, and their desire to be together in a community of faith? Rev. Cyndy Ash has found a way to combine church and farming in a creative and self-sustaining way in her creation of Jubilee Farms in Clinton, Illinois.



“The vision of the Jubilee Farms is to have a farm church, a community of believers, which together work towards its mission. We will work together on the farm every Saturday, followed by worship in the barn or outside weather permitting, then share a meal together. Jubilee Farms Church will be supported by shares of produce sold to members of local churches, as well as members of the farm church. The more shares we sell, the more we will be able to donate. Ideally, we would be able to expand, sell more shares, donate more shares, provide jobs to those society has deemed as “unemployable.” In a nutshell, the vision of Jubilee Farms is to be a church without walls which lives out its mission every day in a very real tangible way.”

 - from an interview with Brooks Berndt, UCC Web Page

For more information, see the Jubilee Farms Web Site

Worship at Jubilee Farms begins April 29.

Missing Peace

What is Missing Peace?  According to founding pastor Katy Steinberg,

"There is a new movement afoot in Ormond Beach, and all over the world for that matter! Faithful people everywhere are discerning that God is up to something in their neighborhood.  In response, groups of people are meeting to explore life, faith and what God is up to.

The Missing Peace is one of these efforts with the goal of gathering young families together to build community, explore faith and serve.  To do this, the Missing Peace will join together and explore concepts of faith and God through different forms of worship that begin with a short message, then explore faith through physical activity, spiritual exercises, cerebral explorations, serving our community, and on 5th Sundays: PLAY! Each of our worshipful times together will conclude with a meal and time for conversation and reflection together."

Watch this video to learn more about Missing Peace...

Breath of New Life


What happens when a church that has closed meets a pastor with a unique vision?

The people of Floyd County, Viginia found out when Rev. Edwin Lacy discovered an old brick church that was sitting empty on Macks Mountain Road. The Presbyterian congregation that had called that building home had faced the same problems and concerns that plague many rural churches - lack of members, changing demographics, dwindling financial resources.  Over the course of its hundred year history, the church had never had more than 50 members, but had found its purpose in a sense of mission in the name of Jesus Christ. When its doors finally closed, Rev. Lacy approached Abingdon Presbytery about a new kind of ministry.

The result is a worshipping community that celebrates its Appalachian culture as it worships in the name of Jesus Christ. The initial remodeling project replaced the pews with rocking chairs, the pulpit with a fireplace, and the organ with traditional bluegrass music.  The community worships on Tuesday nights in order to avoid a sense of competition with other area churches, bringing together an interesting mix of participants including some who see the community as their congregation, some who belong to other churches but never miss a Wild Goose gathering, and some who are either newcomers to the faith or who have not been in a church building in years. 

They call their times together Wild Goose Uprisings.  Each Tuesday night begins with a potluck supper in the shelter out back.  Then the participants gather in the sanctuary, where they rock and sing, enjoying the music and the conversation.  Instead of a sermon, Rev. Lacy leads a discussion on a topic from scripture, and when they celebrate communion, it is with Mason jars, rather than traditional communion cups. Sometimes the evenings end with square dancing or an impromptu jam session.

A 2000 graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Rev. Lacy is excited about the renewal they have experienced and the possibilities for the larger church. "Regardless of how we do church, the traditional body of Christ is very much alive and well. I’m so excited this is happening in a rural setting. I hope it helps other small churches think differently before they lock their doors.”



For more information, see the Wild Goose Community web site at http://wildgoosecc.com/ or the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) article on 1001 New Worshipping Communities at http://www.pcusa.org/news/2013/12/4/wild-goose-uprising/

Ruralpastors.org

Contact: For Skip Shaffer or Ruralpastors.org, send an email to skipshaffer@gmail.com

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