First Third Conversations

Open Hands, Open Hearts

open handsA blog post by Terri Elton

Yesterday, I was a guest preacher in a congregation that I had never been to before. I entered as I do many congregations -- a friendly stranger -- but left with more than I had anticipated. I left with a deep sense of connection to God and insight into what it means to be the body of Christ.

On all accounts, this congregation was welcoming. Several people came to me and introduced themselves as I entered. Many talked with me afterwards, sharing a bit about their lives

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Cultivating a culture of service

ServeA blog post by Tim Bowman

Last week, I wrote about the different service project ideas that my middle school students came up with. Today, I want to use that experience to spark a new conversation. In varying situations, churches have avoided, wrestled with, rejected, and/or embraced our modern culture and contexts. We live in the modern world, and culture is a part of who we are and is something we are impacted by every day.

There is no getting around this -- we don't live in a bubble. We live

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