"Don't miss this riveting account of Pastor Moe and his congregation's spiritual journey. Starting as a mostly white Lutheran church in a Black neighborhood, they went beyond the standard church structure, beyond providing traditional community services, to the foreign realm of community organizing to challenge those in the halls of power. They confronted city councilors, mayors, bad landlords, and red-lining banks, and along the way created a unique church-community structure that everyone who wants to make a difference in the world should pay attention to."
The Bush Still Burns: How Spirituality and Organizing Transformed a Pastor and Congregation
This is the story of how an intertwining of spirituality and organizing transformed a pastor and congregation. Using the metaphor of paying attention to the voice of God in the burning bush (Exodus 3), Moe describes how he and the congregation turned to the burning bush of deepened spirituality coupled with hard-nosed organizing embodied in the IAF network. The process was not easy or smooth, but the pastor and people changed, and together they impacted the larger Portland community.
This is the story of listening, discerning, acting, and evaluating to address the upstream causes of pressing issues and of identifying and lifting up the public dimensions of people's pain. This is the story of prayer circles that addressed societal challenges contributing to people's private struggles. This is the story of unearthing and confronting the impacts of political decisions, overcoming the mentality that "church and politics don't mix." Sunday worship shifted to include the stories of addiction, job loss, rising energy costs, and ecological grieving from the members and their neighbors.
This book demonstrates how the power of spiritual discernment and community organizing can transform a community of faith. It's timely inspiration for congregations struggling to find their way out of decline and the immobilization caused by fear and lack of creative leadership.
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