Promoting Missions

Woman working basket on head Ron Hansen

Feed the Hungry, Feed Faith

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 25, 2022

Granted, Heifer Project has been a long-time “go-to” for children’s ministries and Vacation Bible School. But have you looked at it lately? Now called Heifer International, it’s a whole lot more than putting coins in a World Ark1 or buying a dozen baby chicks for a family overseas. Founded back in 1944, the movement to…

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From Outreach to Engagement

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 4, 2019

I hadn’t thought about it before, but the traditional church term “outreach” can connote an old-school view of “us versus them” mission. If delivered or heard in the wrong way, it implies that givers have all that is worth giving, and receivers have nothing to contribute to the equation. It’s as if we do outreach…

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Mission as Calling and Passion

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 13, 2019

“Mission” is one of those words often used in the Church, but without a clear meaning. The term can be a cover-up for all kinds of religious activities. But mission is more than a name or a program. It’s a calling and a passion. An individual’s personal mission is what he or she is meant…

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Pledge for the Poor

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 2, 2019

A lot has changed in the past twenty years, politically, sociologically, in many ways. But Just Generosity: A new vision for overcoming poverty in America, by Ronald Sider, hits home just as powerfully now as it did then. In fact, its overall message seems even more urgent. Coming into the 21st Century, the author says,…

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White Gifts Sunday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 7, 2019

Communion Sunday always inspires me, as I try to pray for everyone who comes forward to receive the host: parents with children mostly in hand, senior singles, teens in their social bunches, and the less mobile waiting to be served in their seats. But yesterday was also Epiphany Sunday, celebrating the Magi coming to the…

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Engagement, Mission and Generosity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 31, 2018

            Yes, mission trips can have a downside (if travelers are patronizing or culturally clueless, for example), but plan on doing one in the New Year anyway. We can learn how to improve the hands-on mission, but the learning for the missioner can be priceless.             In an excellent Inspiring Generosity post on Nov. 7…

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Grieve, Hope, Respond

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 19, 2018

St. Paul once wrote that we grieve, but not as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). I saw that personally once, when I attended the funeral of a man who was the patriarch of his Hmong clan, some of whom were members of the congregation I served. The family had decided to have…

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Billy Graham

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 14, 2018

On February 21 of this year, the American evangelist Billy Graham passed into heaven, after 99 years of life and more than sixty years of Christian ministry. In that time, he reached more than 210 million people (face-to-face and by satellite feeds) in 185 countries and territories on six continents. Those efforts began in 1947…

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Epiphany — God Beyond the Boundaries

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 8, 2018

Most of us really like our comfort zones: the settings and situations in which we can feel confident in certain roles, know our neighbors or coworkers, and trust that nothing too unexpected and dangerous will catch us by surprise. But those Magi – the wise ones who followed that odd star to the Jesus’ birthplace…

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Mustard Seed Giving

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 5, 2017

Are you looking for that just-right Christmas gift for a woman who already has plenty of stuff? Giving a micro-loan to another woman in her name can be exciting and empowering to the women on both ends! I’ve put Women for Women International on my Christmas list. For twenty-four years, it has helped women survivors…

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