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Western Theological Seminary (WTS) is pleased to announce it has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund Churches in Mission. The project aims to learn with and from congregations as they discern God’s movement in their neighborhoods.

Churches in Mission will extend the work of the Formation for Ministry office and will be led by Shari Oosting and Dr. Kyle Small. The seminary will deploy the $1 million grant to invite two cohorts of up to 15 churches each to discover the needs in their community, to clarify congregational mission, and to determine how to join the ongoing work of God in their neighborhoods.

Project Director Shari Oosting recognizes the timeliness of this opportunity, “The context of Christian ministry in the U.S. is changing quickly, and we’re thrilled to dedicate the next five years to listening, discerning, and celebrating local mission projects.” Kyle Small, Director of Research and Learning, sees this as an extension of WTS’s partnership with the church, “We love the church, and we desire to prepare leaders for the church in mission. This generous gift provided by Lilly Endowment is WTS’s opportunity to accompany congregations and prepare leaders to discover and join the Holy Spirit’s movement in and through local communities.”

When it comes to the work of racial justice, this year’s Stoutemire lecturer Dr. Leah Gunning Francis says two things the church needs are courage, and the will to listen.

“The dominant narrative in our world is ‘everyone has an equal chance of success.’ All you need to do is pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you can be successful just like XYZ person over here. Well we know that’s not true—the playing field is still not equal or level,” she says. “You now are going to have to take the time to listen to people’s experiences and perspectives that you might not be accustomed to listening to.”

When it comes to the work of racial justice, this year’s Stoutemire lecturer Dr. Leah Gunning Francis says two things the church needs are courage, and the will to listen.

“The dominant narrative in our world is ‘everyone has an equal chance of success.’ All you need to do is pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you can be successful just like XYZ person over here. Well we know that’s not true—the playing field is still not equal or level,” she says. “You now are going to have to take the time to listen to people’s experiences and perspectives that you might not be accustomed to listening to.”

Wes Granberg-Michaelson, author of several books including “Future Faith: Ten Challenges for Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century” sits down with Kyle Small to discuss his start in public theology, his latest book, and walking the Camino De Santiago together this summer. For 17 years, Wes served as General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, and has long been active in ecumenical initiatives such as the Global Christian Forum and Christian Churches Together. He is a frequent contributor to Sojourners Magazine.

Wes Granberg-Michaelson, author of several books including Future Faith: Ten Challenges for Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century sits down with Kyle Small to discuss his start in public theology, his latest book, and walking the Camino De Santiago together this summer. For 17 years, Wes served as General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, and has long been active in ecumenical initiatives such as the Global Christian Forum and Christian Churches Together. He is a frequent contributor to Sojourners Magazine.

 

In this episode, Dr. Kristen Deede Johnson discusses her award-winning book “The Justice Calling: Where Passion meets Perseverance,” and what justice and righteousness look like in our lives and vocations.

In this episode, Dr. Kristen Deede Johnson discusses her award-winning book The Justice Calling: Where Passion meets Perseverance, and what justice and righteousness look like in our lives and vocations