Category Archives: Executive Blog

Much Work with Great Hope

By Steve Kriss, Executive Minister My first communication received in the new executive minister role came as a text message on Sunday morning before I went to worship on January 1.   It came from a Conference board member who told me that his congregation intended to support the work of Danilo Sanchez in Allentown for … Continue reading Much Work with Great Hope

Worthy of our Calling to Extend Christ’s Peace

by Stephen Kriss During the last staff meeting in this space in between, I invited my colleagues to share their celebrations and questions for the last month.   Without exception, the celebrations and questions had to do with pastors.   We celebrate the completion of pastoral search processes, with the beginning of Mike Spinelli’s leadership at Perkiomenville; … Continue reading Worthy of our Calling to Extend Christ’s Peace

An Update on An Experiment in Going to the Margins

By Stephen Kriss “The first duty of love is to listen.”—Paul Tillich As part of our practices in this summer space in between, we’ve taken our conference staff meetings “to the margins”, which so far has meant meeting at Doylestown and Alpha congregations for an afternoon to eat, pray and learn alongside the pastors who … Continue reading An Update on An Experiment in Going to the Margins

Conferring and Expecting the Spirit to Show Up

by Stephen Kriss This fall is a season of conversation for Franconia Conference.  As the summer winds down and the autumn is upon us, Conference staff are busy with meetings that come before our annual assembly.   The Conference’s two task forces and the Faith and Life Commission that have flowed out of our Church Together … Continue reading Conferring and Expecting the Spirit to Show Up

The Space In-Between: Work, Hope and Missional Operations Grants

by Stephen Kriss Over the last ten years, Franconia Conference has released over $500,000 through the Missional Operations Grant (MOG) fund.  These grants are tools that help instigate and cultivate missional initiatives connected with our Conference and congregations. They’ve been used broadly over the last decade to cultivate ministries in our local congregations and around … Continue reading The Space In-Between: Work, Hope and Missional Operations Grants

The Space in Between: More Than We Can Dream or Imagine

Steve Kriss

by Stephen Kriss This past Sunday, Mia, an elementary-school-aged girl from Indonesian Light Church, told me that she thinks she might want to be a pastor.  Her mom remarked that this is a relatively new development within the last few months.   Though she tagged on that sometimes she wants to be a doctor too.  Both … Continue reading The Space in Between: More Than We Can Dream or Imagine

Staff Update: The Space In Between

by Stephen Kriss We are three weeks into Executive Minister Ertell Whigham’s three month sabbatical.   In the meantime, I’m serving as acting executive minister, which so far has meant attending to both more details and broader issues and possibilities for our community of faith together.   These months will continue to provide opportunities for staff growth … Continue reading Staff Update: The Space In Between

Going to the Margins: A 10 year experiment in South Philly

by Stephen Kriss I’ve been in a lot of meetings where there’s discussion about decline in the church.  But every time I hear it, I think about the churches I work alongside.   While I know numbers are down in a lot of places, that is not the reality in most of Franconia Conference churches in … Continue reading Going to the Margins: A 10 year experiment in South Philly

God Multiplies the Small Things

by Stephen Kriss I was struck by the powerful words of the songs that we were singing together on Sunday in this former-thrift-store-turned-worship-space packed to nearly overflowing: we are not afraid… we believe… The words were punctuated with amens, raised hands, “Gloria A Dios.” This is Centro De Alabanza, an outgrowth of Philadelphia Praise Center, … Continue reading God Multiplies the Small Things