Columns & Blogs

Center Lines - August 2009

By: Reverend Mark Marino on 8/4/2009
Topics: Center Lines

 A recent e-mailing from the Alban Institute included a piece adapted from Pathway to Renewal: Practical Steps for Congregations by Daniel P. Smith and Mary K. Sellon (© 2008 by the Alban Institute).  The article’s theme dovetails nicely with our emphases on best spiritual practices and re-thinking how we “do” church.  I am happy to share a shortened version with you as we continue along the journey of our local churches preparing to share their gifts, graces, people and ministries with new conferences in New York and Pennsylvania.  I hope you find it helpful.

Center Lines - June 2009

By: Reverend Mark Marino on 6/17/2009
Topics: Center Lines

Our annual conference concluded its penultimate (next to the last) session on Saturday, June 6.  It was a year of looking back over our 158 year history and looking ahead to the two new conferences of which we will be a part next year.  As always at annual conference there were moments of celebration and joy and there were moments of frustration and angst. 

Celebrations and joys fire us up and excite us about new possibilities.  Frustrations and angsts can leave us despondent about the future, so much so that we might overlook new insights and new learnings.  In these brief thoughts below my focus is an area of our life that we may have passed over too quickly in Scranton or that we did not fully grasp.  The area is finance.  A  fuller understanding of our conference’s finances can turn frustration and angst into- if not celebration and joy- then at least hopeful promise for what lies ahead.