Forward Today: Be witnesses

Dear friends in Christ,

Last Saturday, it was my great honor to preach at the ordination of Susan Brown Snook as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. She chose Luke 24:44-49a as the Gospel reading, and that reading includes this teaching from Jesus, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”


In my sermon, I talked about how we need to take Jesus at his word, and we need to be witnesses.

We need to get serious about evangelism. We need to get serious about not just inviting people into our churches but rather about inviting people to transformed lives. We need to get serious about not just being nice but rather about preaching the forgiveness of sins. We need to get over our reticence to proclaim God’s love in the public square, because when we stay silent, the voices of greed and fear go unchallenged and unanswered.

Evangelism is not the solution to the declining prestige of our church. Indeed, those who would lose their church for the sake of Gospel will save it. Evangelism is not the way to get more members for our committees or to shore up shrinking budgets.

Instead, evangelism happens when we all accept our vocation as followers of Jesus Christ — not just the vocation of priests and deacons and not just the vocation of bishops — but the vocation of all of us whose ministry began in the waters of baptism. Our mandate is to make disciples of all nations — to proclaim the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and to invite everyone to know God’s love in forgiveness and repentance and mercy and grace.

We talk about evangelism quite a bit these days. I hope it’s never reduced to the latest buzzword, but that we’re always witnessing to God’s great love for us and for all people. Jesus is everything. I hope we will always be bold in inviting others to know the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

Today’s Flash Sale: The Spy on Noah’s Ark AND The Spy at Jacob’s Ladder

The Spy on Noah’s Ark
Bible stories take on new life with this collection of eyewitness accounts from surprise sources: a dove, a lion, a stallion, and more. Using the ancient and imaginative art of storytelling, this book will delight children of all ages and begs to be read aloud. Adults will also enjoy these stories, and can use them to enrich personal and group Bible study. Discussion questions for children and adults are included at the end of each story, making it the perfect book for a church “On the Same Page” reading group or other intergenerational program. Ages 7-12—Perfect for emerging readers as well as for adults and children to read along together.

Regular: $12
Today: $9

*Discount is valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

The Spy at Jacob’s Ladder
The spy at Jacob's LadderHave you ever wondered what stories stones might tell or whether a fishing boat can be friends with a faithful sailor? In the kingdom of God, every single thing has a story to tell and a song to sing—donkeys, sewing needles, secret caves, and water jugs! From the author who introduced you to The Spy on Noah’s Ark, this collection of stories, told from the inside out, are sure to stir up your heart and mind as you read along, meeting old friends and making new ones. You are invited to be a spy too at some of the most beloved stories of the Bible, placing yourself as participant and witness to God’s unfolding and unfailing grace and love. Ages 7-12—Perfect for emerging readers as well as for adults and children to read along together.

Regular: $12
Today: $9

*Discount is valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time