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Subtopic 10: Case Study Conversations Regarding Political Discourse and Political Action Within Churches and Christian Para-Church Organizations (June 2018)

Case Study #1: Kalamazoo (MI) Mennonite Fellowship – A church that encourages its members to become involved in social service ministries that serve persons in need (e.g., the homeless, the hungry); that has church-wide social service ministries; but does NOT take church-wide political positions or initiatives (whether or not it encourages its individual members to be politically active).

Leading  Questions: What kind of social service ministries does your church provide? How do you encourage your members to become involved in social service ministries? Do you encourage your members to be politically active, and why? What are your reasons for NOT taking church-wide political positions or initiatives?

  • Conversation Partner: Will Fitzgerald, Senior Pastor, Kalamazoo (MI) Mennonite Fellowship 

 

Case Study #2: First Congregational Church – Kalamazoo (MI) – A church that encourages its members to be politically active and involved in social service ministries that serve persons in need (e.g., the homeless, the hungry); that has church-wide social service ministries; and SELECTIVELY takes church-wide political positions or initiatives.

Leading Questions: What kind of social service ministries does your church provide? How do you encourage your members to become involved in social service ministries? What are your reasons for selectively taking church-wide political positions or initiatives? What types of issues have you selected and on what basis did you make that selection?

  • Conversation Partner: Nathan Dannison, Senior Pastor, First Congregational Church - Kalamazoo

 

Case Study #3: Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice – A Christian para-church organization that believes that reforming/redeeming the political realm is an important activity for Christians; that Christians should carry out social justice ministries that persons in need; and that provides resources and others assistance to help its church constituent members and their congregational members to carry out these responsibilities.

Leading Questions: How do you encourage individual Christians and your church constituent members to become involved in political activities that reform/redeem the political realm and in social service ministries that serve persons in need? What kind of resources do you provide for such individuals and churches? What has worked well? What hasn’t worked well?

  • Conversation Partner: Kris Van Engen, Congregational Justice Mobilizer for World Renew and the Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice

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