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Subscribe to the ePistle
CSA’s free weekly publication, a carefully curated collection of original articles at the intersection of spiritual formation and social action.

An Interview with John McNall on the Space Between Doubt and Dogmatism

We spoke with Dr. Josh McNall—associate professor of pastoral theology, ambassador of church relations, and director of the honors program at Oklahoma Wesleyan University—about his latest book, Perhaps: Reclaiming the Space Between Doubt and Dogmatism, published by InterVarsity Press. 

Holistic Ministry defined

By Ronald Sider, Philip N. Olson , and Heidi Rolland Unruh
The root meaning of the word “holistic” is whole, from the Greek holos. Christians recognize that the world is broken and incomplete, falling far short of the glory God intended at the dawn of creation.

"We Refuse to Be Enemies"

By Sarah Withrow King

Tent of Nations is a 100-acre organic farm and educational organization that seeks peace and reconciliation in the occupied territories of Palestine.

As our tour bus comes to a slow stop in front of a wall of rocks and rubble, we disembark into the bright, breezy day.

Fill Up, Pour Out

By Marc Havener
When I asked a young employee of a community health clinic what motivates her in a career that includes long, exhausting days, surrounded by people with incredible needs, she gave me a look that seemed to wonder how I could not know.

Words of Advice to Faith-Inspired Activists

By Thomas Merton

The Big Results Are Not in Your Hands
Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.

The "Special" Load of Laundry

By James A. Cates, Jr.

“Jake” was a small boy for 15 years of age. It was difficult to imagine the severe emotional disturbance that led to his placement in a residential treatment center, but it was also difficult to imagine the abuse experienced in his home.

The Racial Divide and a Crisis of Theology and Will

By Craig Wong

When I had the opportunity of visiting Atlanta for the very first time, my top priority was to visit the Martin Luther King Center and learn about a man clearly characterized by the ministry of reconciliation.

Isaiah: Right Worship, or Just Relationships?

By Bryant Myers

We probably all know that Isaiah is a book about a people whom God decides to exile from the land he gave them, as a punishment for their faithlessness. And we all know that the God of the Bible is a jealous God.

A Prayer for Our Country

By R. Maurice Boyd
O Thou who art as the shadow of a mighty rock in a weary land,
Comfort our distraught, distracted, and bewildered Nation.
Enable us to discern Thy judgements and Thy grace in the distress, confusion, and anxiety of our time.

John/Elijah

By Laura Coulter

Every Saturday, by the highway near Wal-Mart,
you see him standing there alone.
Not much to notice about him,
nothing leaps to the eye.
Wiry hair gray as storm clouds.

Tool #8: Guiding Characteristics of Local Mission

Every church is to be a witness, instrument, and sign of God’s kingdom – but every church does this in a unique way. Each church will respond differently to the missional question, ―How can our congregation embody God’s character and carry out Christ’s work in our particular context?” The types, scale, scope, and style of activities that churches undertake as an expression of local mission will be different.

Holistic Ministry Tool #6: Qualities of Holistic Congregations

The church is God’s chosen vessel for modeling and sharing the Good News of Christ in our world. There is an indescribable quality about a church committed to living out the gospel that whispers to your spirit: Yes, this is how Christ meant his followers to live, love and serve together.

Holistic Ministry Tool # 3: Personal Preparation for Ministry Action (P.R.A.Y.E.R.)

Launching a new ministry can be personally rewarding, but also draining. Like athletes warming up before a sporting event, ministry leaders can intentionally prepare to enter the ministry arena. This personal preparation will pay off not only by enhancing the ways that God can use you to bless others, but also by cultivating the soil of your own life for God’s ongoing work within you.