19 Aug 2020

One Year and Counting for Church of God Network

Today marks Church of God Network’s one year anniversary! Over the last year, we have been so encouraged by all of our conversations with brethren and Church leaders regarding building community within the Church of God. There is clearly an appetite to start taking positive, tangible steps to move the needle on this front. With your help, this mission took some big first steps in year one:

  1. The “CGN Educational and Business Development Grants” program was launched and grants were awarded to 5 grantees.
  2. Our Congregation Map now lists 1,554 congregations from over 110 Church organizations in 91 different countries.
  3. Our COG Resource Center now includes over 320 resources from around the Church of God.
  4. The “Brethren Supporting Brethren” project was launched, which seeks to connect brethren in need with those looking to give back.
  5. 13 individuals volunteered to lend their time and skills to help brethren as part of our COVID19 response.
  6. CGN hosts COG Marketplace: a place where members from the Church of God community can come together and support the small businesses of our fellow brethren.
  7. CGN affiliate “Special Music Project” launched in March 2020: a place for musicians across the COGs to share special music pieces in one central place & to build community.
  8. Brethren from across the Church of God produced blogs on important issues like mental health, critical thinking, and how to confront your biases.

From the beginning, our goal has been to assist you in expanding your network and your Church of God experience. We believe that there is no need to force people to unify under one 501(c)(3) organization. We can build community without asking people to completely uproot their lives and join another Church group. By making Church of God information more easily accessible, giving brethren a platform to write about and discuss important issues, and creating new ways to serve and give back, we saw real movement toward our mission and vision. But we’re just getting started!

What’s in Store for Year Two

We are truly excited about what is planned for year two. In our second year, we want to emphasize ways in which we can help facilitate connection with your brothers and sisters in Christ in person! We will be launching two new grant programs by the Spring/Summer of 2021. The first will help fund cross-organizational fellowship events and the second will help fund service projects around the Church of God. We will also be launching a “Church of God Events” page and newsletter which will help you stay informed on all the events occurring throughout the Church of God. We will also continue to prioritize encouraging conversations on important issues and from a multitude of perspectives. To that end, we will be launching the CGN Podcast  in January of 2021. Our goal is to discuss important issues facing the Church of God and, in the process, highlight a variety of perspectives from across the Church of God.

Those are only a few of the projects we have slated for CGN’s second year! We are working with several other individuals and organizations on other projects and joint efforts. As always, your support, encouragement, and prayers are greatly appreciated and needed. Your support is critical as we further our mission to build community within the Church of God by facilitating connection, encouraging conversations, and giving back. Together, we can create a cohesive and dynamic Church of God community, not only for ourselves, but for future generations of God’s people.

Ephesians 4:1-6: 4 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

About the Author

Daniel Russo is a lifelong New Yorker and currently resides in Albany, New York. He currently works as the Manager of Business Operations at Parent to Parent of NYS. He previously worked at the Empire