Borders and Identity: Workshop Session 3

Preaching when Borders and Identities are Changing

Presented by Elder Jim Mitulski, Congregational Church UCC of Needham

Pacific School of Religion preachers are bold and prophetic and pastoral—and we’ve never been challenged like we have since the election. The question is no longer whether to preach about immigration, the environment, solidarity with Muslims, mass incarceration, Black Lives Matter, racism, feminism, reproductive choice, and many other social justice issues. The challenge is how to use the Bible in effective ways that promote bridge-building and inspire our congregations—entities that reflect, to varying degrees, the divisions we see everywhere around us. Our churches are large and small, liberal, moderate, progressive, and conservative and are rarely defined by one ideology. Most of us love preaching, even—maybe especially—in times like these. Let’s dig into the challenges we’re facing right now and see what we can learn to make preaching more effective, more fun, and more meaningful in a changing world.

Jim Mitulski has served MCC, UCC , Disciples and TFAM congregations for 35 years. He is a PSR Distinguished Alumnus. He served nine years as a Pacific School of Religion Trustee, was co-director of the Pacific School of Religion Chapel, Campus Pastor and taught courses on Worship and HIV/AIDS and Theology. He currently serves as the interim Senior Interim Minister of the Congregational Church of Needham UCC , in Needham, MA, outside Boston.

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