Sunday, January 5, 2014

Acheiving Financial Sustainability in 2014???

            How do we find a way for our churches to remain financial solvent during difficult economic times?
            Since I’ve been “semi-retired” from ministry and actively pursuing a second career as a writer, I’ve discovered that the publishing scene is drastically different from when I published my first book twenty years ago. Back then you sent out manuscripts, found a publisher, and left it to the publisher to market your book. Not so any more. Now you have to have a “platform” before a publisher will even look at your book. You need a presence on social media, whether a blog, web-site, facebook, linked-in and/or twitter account. And your web-site needs to be designed to attract repeat visits, meaning regular updating with new material. It’s a different world thanks to the rapid advance of technology. (Just think, twenty years ago I didn’t have a cell phone.)
            It occurs to me that the same may be said about ministry. Technology is changing the face of ministry, how we reach people and keep their attention, especially young people. It’s no long enough to have meaningful church services and programs, counting on the weekly offertory to pay for these. Now we need a web-site and to utilize social media to reach the growing segment of the population who report no religious affiliation. And just as a good web-site can draw readers and be a source of income for writers even as they sleep, perhaps a good web-site can help churches raise money and support for programs???
            What do you think? Does that strike you as true? What are you doing to keep your church financially viable in the New Year? Join the discussion. Comment below and/or join us on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 9a.m. at the Jackson District Library, Carnegie branch, as we continue to share information and explore ways to sustain our ministries financially in 2014.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January JAMA Meeting, The New Jim Crow Book Study

January JAMA Meeting

A reminder that the January 2014 meeting of JAMA will be at 9:00am on Thursday, January 9, in the McIntyre Room on the 2nd floor of the Jackson District Library's Carnegie Branch, 244 W. Michigan Ave. in downtown Jackson. This will be our regular meeting place, and the 2nd Thursday at 9:00am will remain our regular time, at least for the next 4 months. Please share this news with other clergy and faith leaders, and invite them to subscribe to our new email list at  

The New Jim Crow Book Study

Christine Canning-Peterson of the Jackson Area Civil Rights Awareness Association (JACRAA) invites JAMA members to attend this book study, and also to announce it and post this flyer [THE NEW JIM CROW flyer.pdf (168kb)] to publicize it. She writes:

A new book study by the Jackson Area Civil Rights Awareness Association (JACRAA) will begin on Tuesday evening, January 7, and continue for seven weeks.  The book to be studied is one that has attracted a great deal of attention recently, The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.  Clevester Moten, Jr., is preparing the curriculum for this extended study of the book and will facilitate each two-hour meeting.  After the introductory meeting on January 7, each meeting will discuss a chapter.  Copies of the book are available at the Jackson District Library, Carnegie Branch.  Meetings will be held from 6:00-8:00 pm at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 801 S. Mechanic St. in Jackson.  For more information, call 517-926-3531.

There may be a credit option associated with this book study.

Bill Moyers held a conversation with Michelle Alexander on December 20.  This conversation can be heard and a transcript can be read at this website: