Your FREE parish Christmas invitation video is ready!


“Episcopalians are on Facebook,”Presiding Bishop Michael Curry told participants at Evangelism Matters. ‘I’ve seen your dogs. I’ve seen your cats.” He went on to describe social media as a superhighway for sharing the Gospel. Your friends have seen your pets. This Christmas, let them see Jesus.

Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement have a new Christmas video coming out and, as a member of our mailing list, you get to see it first. You can:

  • watch it on YouTube in English here and in Spanish here, or
  • download the videos for use on your congregation’s social media here (for English) and here (for Spanish).
  • download an Instagram-optimized version of the video which can be found here and post it on that site.

We hope this video can be a key component in a plan to invite your neighbors to church this season. To make the most of the opportunity, we encourage you to review the Hospitality Checklist offered by Invite-Welcome-Connect.

Using this Video
We encourage you to use this video as if it were your own in sharing the Good News. While those with video editing skill may customize the video, such as adding a photo from your congregation with some information during “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You”, we have discovered that lengthening the video to add service times or additional information leads to viewers tuning out en masse. We recommend putting the real content of the ad in the Facebook post text rather than in the video itself. You may also still download and use Acts 8’s 2015 Christmas Video in addition to or instead of the one created for this year.

Still to Come!

Keep checking in at acts8movement.org as over the next few days, we will be launching other language translations of the video, and more content. In the meantime, to find out more of what we have discovered along the way, please read Nurya Love Parish’s helpful post 7 Lessons from the Video Experiment.

There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you.

Blessed Advent,
The Acts 8 Movement

Thank Yous
The script was worked on by a small group. English voiceover provided by Miranda Hassett, Griffin Hasset, Iona Hassett, Alex Montes-Vela, Sandra Montes, Adam Trambley, Julia Trambley, Frank Logue, Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale, Susan Brown Snook, and Eliza Pankey. Sandra Montes translated the video into Spanish and provided the voiceover together with her brother Alex Montes-Vela for that version of the video, with her goddaughter Jaidani Ortiz closing out the voiceover. David Simmons created the original score and Frank Logue edited the video. This collaboration involved Episcopalians in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, California, Wisconsin, and Georgia, working together on this 1-minute video.

A Note About Permissions
You may use this video without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. We created this video using original video filmed by Frank Logue and Alex Montes-Vela together with clips purchased from videoblocks.com and are using them within that licensing agreement. Everyone participating donated their time and work product to the project, and the parents of the children whose voices are in the video approve of their taking part in the project.

The Collect Call: #collectlove

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Image: Ahmen Ibn-Lahoucine, distributed under a CC BY license.

We don’t presume to know how you voted, nor do we even care. But we do know that a lot of people are hurting and scared right now, and we all have to live with each other now that the election is over.

We have a homework assignment for you: tell us about ways you are witnessing or spreading love. Use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, whatever works for you, and use the hashtag #collectlove.

And dear listeners, know that even though we’ve been on a break, we’re coming back soon. We love you a lot, but God loves you even more.

This week’s prayer: For Times of Conflict (BCP p. 824)

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

How to listen

■ iTunes ■ Stitcher ■ Soundcloud ■ RSS FeedBlubrry

How to Connect

Twitter ■ Facebook

The Collect Call is a founding member of the Via Media Collective, a network of podcasts with an Anglican sensibility. Follow the collective on Twitter and Facebook.

More about this podcast

BLOGFORCE Roundup – The Spiritual Role of Giving

BlogforceVerticalTwo weeks ago, the question was posed to the BLOGFORCE:

“How has financial giving affected your spiritual life?“

We received several responses, which are listed in the order received


Steve Pankey blogged “Contentment”:

In the New Testament lesson for Proper 21c, the author of 1 Timothy tells the young leader that there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment. He warns Timothy of the trap of riches. The temptation that comes with a lack of contentment takes our attention away from God. Envy leads to ruin and destruction. As I rode through my neighborhood that afternoon, those empty TV boxes pulled me to the edge of the root of all evil: the love of money. Thanks be to God, the temptation of a shiny new TV for the big game didn’t win out. In coming to grips with the opportunity cost of tithing, I realized that sacrificing for the Kingdom is something that should bring joy.

Megan Castellan blogged “Stewardship and Anxiety”:

Coming to see money and my material possessions as belonging to God, and not to me was a radical shift in my understanding and comfort level with money. It empowered me to be bolder with my resources, more able to see at work in everything around me–even the things which scare me most.

Alberto Moreno blogged “Como a afectado tu vida espiritual el donar económicamente?”:

El dar económicamente es una realidad que no he terminado de aprender y que siempre me desafía a salir de mi “zona de confort” para ir a los demás en necesidad.

Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale blogged “5 Ways My Spiritual Life Changed When I Got Serious About My Pledge”:

Much as I remember exactly where I was when I made the decision (or was called, whatever) to become a Christian, I can also name the precise moment I decided to become serious about giving to the church. In a nondescript ballroom in the basement of the Sheraton in downtown Indianapolis, Walter Brueggeman was giving the keynote address at the conference for The Episcopal Network for Stewardship.

Holli Powell blogged “Six Stories of Stewardship”:

Sometimes giving to the church can feel a little bit nebulous. It’s not like giving to a food bank or a homeless shelter, an organization with one sole purpose. The money I give to my congregation might go to pay our staff, to heat the building, to fund the youth group, or to do something I don’t even know about. That’s tough for me, and it’s needed. I don’t always get to direct God’s actions. Actually, I don’t ever get to direct God’s actions, and that is the hardest thing for a control freak like me. I have to let the money go and trust that God will do with it what God will.

Adam Trambley blogged “How Has Financial Giving Affected My Spiritual Life?”:

Adam Trambley describes the effects of tithing on his faith and his marriage. “We came to realize just how much we were united “for richer or for poorer”, and the blessing that could be, even when things felt a bit more on the “for poorer” side. Tithing the firstfruits of our finances together meant that we were obedient to God together, and it drove us to prayer together which has significantly deepened our spiritual life together.”

Susan Snook blogged “Putting our Trust in God, Not Money”:

But the thing is, for us, sitting there in church, we heard the voice of God at the same time, calling us to do this absurd thing. And God showed us that he was there, blessing us right through it. In fact, in writing that check, we made the decision that our money was not going to be our savior. Against all our training, against all our professional backgrounds, against common sense, we determined that we would put our trust in God instead. And we’ve never looked back.

Respectfully Submitted,
David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


The Collect Call: It’s Fine (Proper 22)

 

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Image: Purblind, distributed under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

On hearing that God is more ready to hear than we are to pray, Holli observes that she always asks her daughter how her day was, and mostly all she has to say is that things are fine.

This week’s prayer: Proper 21 (BCP p. 234)

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

How to listen

■ iTunes ■ Stitcher ■ Soundcloud ■ RSS FeedBlubrry

How to Connect

Twitter ■ Facebook

The Collect Call is a founding member of the Via Media Collective, a network of podcasts with an Anglican sensibility. Follow the collective on Twitter and Facebook.

More about this podcast

BLOGFORCE Response – Alberto Moreno – Como a afectado tu vida espiritual el donar económicamente?

” Como a afectado tu vida espiritual el donar económicamente?”

Desde una antropología bíblico – teológica, el ser humano es una realidad holística compuesta por cuerpo, alma y espíritu(1 Ts 5,23), la unidad de estos elementos conforman al ser humano y es difícil además de imposible separarlos, o sea, que no podríamos decir; Lo que hace alguna parte de mi cuerpo, por ejemplo la mano, es algo separado de mi mente o de mis deseos. En el universo, la naturaleza y en la sociedad, todo está en conectado, lo que hacemos, pequeño o grande, bueno o malo, sea en el espacio privado o en la vida pública afecta a los demás. Por consiguiente en una primera aproximación a la respuesta de la pregunta inicial podría decir que mis donaciones económicas a la Iglesia, a las campañas de apoyo en favor de los necesitados, o el apoyo a mis familiares en necesidad están en una relación directamente proporcional a mi crecimiento espiritual, así como la falta de ellas afectara el estancamiento en mi vida espiritual y humana.

Las congregaciones cristianas de cualquier latitud geográfica, étnica o nivel socio-económico se enfrentan ante esta misma constante, que parece ser una ley del crecimiento espiritual y comunitario, que Jesús mismo formula en la siguiente frase:

“Dad y se os dará”. Desde mi experiencia puedo decir que he experimentado la bendición de dar todas mis ganancias a la comunidad en las primeras etapas de mi vida espiritual siendo soltero, es decir, sin estar casado. Después de pasar a la etapa de matrimonio y tener la bendición de dos hijas, he cambiado mi patrón de ofrenda económica, ya no ofrendo todo, sino solo una parte que sea significativa, pues es obvio que Dios me pide nutrir y educar a mi familia, es decir mi esposa e hijas. Esta etapa de matrimonio también me ha hecho madurar como persona en otros ángulos de la realidad humana y espiritual, que son dos realidades que están íntimamente relacionadas. Finalmente el dar económicamente es una realidad que no he terminado de aprender y que siempre me desafía a salir de mi “zona de confort” para ir a los demás en necesidad. Desde mi experiencia de servir en una congregación latina, ha sido también una tarea desafiante enseñar y dar testimonio de ofrendar, pues muchos latinos han desarrollado su vida espiritual con un bajo aprecio por ofrendar económicamente a la iglesia, pero a veces siendo más generosos para ayudar a las personas y familiares en necesidad.

Rev. Alberto Moreno

ONGOING BLOGFORCE: What’s the Spiritual Role of Financial Giving?

BlogforcelogoOur BLOGFORCE continues this week with the following question:

“How has financial giving affected your spiritual life?

Anyone can participate in the BLOGFORCE!  Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Monday, October 3rd and the roundup will be posted on the 4th.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the BLOGFORCE?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Monday, October 3rd .  On Tuesday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

The Collect Call: Mercy and Pity and Power, Oh My! (Proper 21)

Image by ocean_of_stars. Used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

Image by ocean_of_stars. Used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

Luci Hoad and Jordan Ware, co-hosts of Two Feminists Annotate the Bible (subscribe on iTunes), join us for a second week to talk about the mysteries of using your power to show mercy and pity.

This week’s prayer: Proper 21 (BCP p. 234)

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

How to listen

■ iTunes ■ Stitcher ■ Soundcloud ■ RSS FeedBlubrry

How to Connect

Twitter ■ Facebook

The Collect Call is a founding member of the Via Media Collective, a network of podcasts with an Anglican sensibility. Follow the collective on Twitter and Facebook.

More about this podcast

The Collect Call: Social Media Sunday – The Origin Story

social-mediaAs Social Media Sunday approaches again on September 25, 2016, it appears to be increasingly embraced by the institutional church. But we love that the origin story of Social Media Sunday is two laypeople doing their thing on the internet. Here’s our interview with Carolyn Clement, one of the people who gave Social Media Sunday its start.

Also, if you haven’t already, check out the Acts 8 Movement’s resources for ways to proclaim, engage, and invite using social media, available both in English and Spanish. These materials are not Social Media Sunday specific, so if you missed the date, you should still feel free to use them whenever seems best.

How to listen

■ iTunes ■ Stitcher ■ Soundcloud ■ RSS FeedBlubrry

How to Connect

Twitter ■ Facebook

The Collect Call is a founding member of the Via Media Collective, a network of podcasts with an Anglican sensibility. Follow the collective on Twitter and Facebook.

More about this podcast

15 Ways to Reach Out on Social Media Sunday

social-mediaSunday, Sept. 25 is Social Media Sunday – a great time to let others know about the wonderful things that are happening at your church! The resource below offers 15 ways that members of your church can use social media to PROCLAIM the good news, ENGAGE your networks, and INVITE others to join you. Feel free to copy/share/reproduce/tweet/anything-that-works for you on social media or on paper.

social-media-insert.pdf