God is at Work in Mississippi
posted on January 28
God is at work AND changing lives in Mississippi - big time!
The United Methodist Churches in Union County are experiencing the unfolding of some new ways of church that is breathing life and hope into their congregations and the neighborhoods around them.
A year ago, the leader of this initiative, Marta Sobrino Bolen, approached the New Albany Chief Missional Strategist, Rev. Raigan Miskelly and the Office of Faith Community Formation with a vision to develop strong, self-determining Latino families in welcoming and inclusive environments, where they would be free to share their love for one another, their gifts and their time.
Marta, born and raised in Puerto Rico, worked for 28 years creating and implementing programs for families and children. Since relocating to Union County nine years ago, she has been dreaming of the day when she could put her gifts, graces and bilingual skills to work for the community and the God she loves.
She found the perfect solution — Fresh Expressions and Dinner Church!
Sunday evening, Jan. 26, her most recent Dinner Church gathering, Latino families, Bishop and Mrs. Swanson, conference and district staff came together, in song and scripture, to break bread, celebrate communion and worship together.
In addition to Dinner Church, Marta has been instrumental in developing ESL tutoring classes for Latino children and adults to help them improve their communication and reading comprehension skills.
Dinner Church, an initiative of Fresh Expressions, is an effective, affordable, contextual approach to starting new expressions of Church. Dinner Church is helping congregations rediscover Jesus’ dinner table theology that dominated the Apostolic Era and is giving leaders and churches a renewed ability to reach people who, most likely, will never attend a Sunday morning gathering.
Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach changing, diverse cultures and world. Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity of our society, sharing a message that is transformative.
Want to change lives?Visit the Faith Community Formation website at https://www.mississippi-umc.org/freshexpressionsms to learn more.
Contact the Faith Community Formation Office:
- Rev. Jason Zebert, jzebert@ mississippi-umc.org or 769-243-7073
- Jane Horstman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 769-243-7072