-from Lizabeth Bougie, Resource Center for Churches, Director
There are many places to find ministry resources. In addition to UCC Resources and Pilgrim Press, AUCE recommends resources. You no doubt have your favorite sources: publications and publishers, websites and blogs, online forums and trusted colleagues. The Congregational Resource Guide has recently reappeared; anyone can type in a keyword and come up with a nice list of current resources. There is even a phone number to call to access expert assistance. And there is always Google.
In this environment, why a resource center? We have several responses.
The field of available resources for ministry is overwhelming. Searching for excellent, theologically appropriate resources is a time-consuming and daunting task. It is tempting to keep relying on trusted resources from the past, or to try the first thing that appears. But accessing outstanding resources that fit, perhaps from lesser-known sources, is a key to creative, vibrant ministry.
The Resource Center for Churches is ecumenical. When you contact us, you tap into a network of peers in Minnesota congregations and share wisdom across denominations. When you consult with us, we are able to take the time to develop an understanding of your community and move into a deeper conversation than an online forum allows.
It has been challenging for us to expand the traditional model of a resource center as a lending library for religious educators to embrace a new identity in a changing environment. And indeed, we remain a lending library, offering access to physical resources and research assistance; this role has if anything gained in importance since bricks-and-mortar stores have closed and church budgets have tightened. But we are more. We resource all areas of church life. Of course, more of our recommendations are web-based. We serve, not only clergy and faith formation staff, but lay leaders meeting new challenges without traditional preparation. Our online presence at rcc-mn.org allows us to lift up new and recommended resources by type and topic and is itself an important resource for anyone finding it inconvenient or impossible to visit us in the Minnesota Church Center. And we host conversations, help bring people together to network and learn from each other in gatherings like the ConNext Summit.
We are deeply grateful for your support: both your financial support and the expertise and wisdom you share. We have been particularly blessed by the service of Wade Zick, Lawrence Tanner Richardson, and Brandon Perrine on our Board of Directors. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please help spread the word to your friends in ministry, both within and beyond your own faith community. Thank you.