COG Blog/Resources

  1. Learning: Why Are Immigrants Often So Religious?

    07 Jul 2022
    As most of you know, when our family moved to Lynn we were a bit shocked.  We didn’t realize how many churches there would be in Lynn.  There are a lot!  And of course most of these churches are filled with immigrants: 1st and 2nd generation immigrants from Latin America,…

  2. Book Review: The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

    13 Jun 2022
    Now in its third edition, The Next Christendom by Philip Jenkins is a very important book to understand immigrant faith here in America today.  Jenkins is a professor at Pennsylvania State University and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.    Jenkins explains the…

  3. Website: Evangelical Immigration Table

    18 May 2022
    Evangelical Immigration Table is an online place where evangelical Christians of various denomination, theological traditions, ethnicities and political perspectives can gather together to encourage distinctly Biblical thinking about issues of immigration.   Scores of prominent evangelical organizations and leaders have endorsed a statement of principles which reads as follows: Our national

  4. Organization Spotlight: MIRA

    14 Apr 2022
    Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee is a coalition of over 140 organizations in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.   Founded in 1987 shortly after President Reagan’s partial immigration overhaul, it is one of the major voices in the immigration debate locally and nationally,  lobbying for comprehensive…

  5. Book Review: They Take Our Jobs!: And Twenty Other Myths About Immigration

    10 Mar 2022
    Aviva Chomsky is a professor of history and the coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts.  In this book, Chomsky addresses common beliefs and concerns about immigrants and immigration.   Writing from a progressive left perspective, questions addressed include:  *Do immigrants take American jobs?  *Do immigrants…

  6. Book Review: Debating Immigration

    09 Feb 2022
    Debating Immigration is a collection of 20 original essays written by scholars as they explore the nuances of contemporary immigration in the United States and Europe.   Edited by Princeton professor, Carol Swain, themes include: economics, demographics and race, law and policy, philosophy and religion, and European politics.   The volume is…

  7. Book Review: Welcoming The Stranger: Justice, Compassion, and Truth in the Immigration Debate

    06 Jan 2022
    When people ask for a book recommendation on the topic of immigration today, I usually recommend this book.  Written by two staff members at World Relief, a Christian relief and development organization, Welcoming the Stranger, published in 2018, honestly wrestles with the complexity of immigration here in the United…

  8. Learning: Celebrating the Immigrant Church

    13 Dec 2021
    After moving over a year ago to this gateway city with people from over seventy nations, Allison and I continue to be greatly surprised by this place.  Our family lived just thirty miles away from Lynn for 14 years, but essentially knew nothing about it.  Wait, the only thing we…

  9. Book Review: A Nation of Immigrants

    25 Nov 2021
    I did not know that JFK was writing this at the time of his assassination.  It was almost finished and thus published posthumously.   JFK cared a lot about the issue of immigration!   In fact, the landmark 1965 Immigration Bill, is attributed to JFK’s passion and work towards immigration reform.  In…

  10. News: Grant Awarded for Documentary Photography Project

    23 Nov 2021
    November 18, 2021  Dear Rev. Dr. Balentine:  Congratulations! On behalf of the Louisville Institute, it is my privilege to share with  you that you are one of 25 pastoral leaders selected to receive a 2022 Pastoral Study  Project (PSP) grant. This year, we received 93 applications from pastoral leaders  throughout…

  11. Organization Spotlight: Emmanuel Gospel Center

    28 Oct 2021
    I have known the Emmanuel Gospel Center since I was a seminary student. Founded to serve and help churches to flourish,  EGC has been a pivotal organization providing training and coordination for church ministries in Boston, as well as focused research and writing on what EGC calls “The Quiet Revival”…

  12. Book Review: American Dirt

    14 Oct 2021
    I read this book recently and couldn’t put it down!   American Dirt by Jeannine Cummins is a fictional account  of a woman, living in Acapulco, Mexico who must flee for her life from the drug warlords who have killed her husband.  Published in 2020,  the book takes the reader on…

  13. Website: Global Boston

    07 Oct 2021
    Global Boston is a website that focuses on the history of immigration in Boston, including surrounding cities.  It is  overseen by Marilyn Johnson, a professor of history at Boston College.   I have found the website to be extremely helpful for learning about immigration in New England especially.  Pages include various…

  14. Photo Book: Atget’s Paris

    30 Sep 2021
    Eugene Atget is considered by many to be a founding father of documentary photography.   Born outside of Paris in 1857, he trained to be a priest for awhile and then went into the merchant Navy for a stint.   Following a 17 year career in traveling theater,  he turned to painting,…

  15. Organization Spotlight: New American Center of Massachusetts

    16 Sep 2021
    The New American Association of Massachusetts is located right here in Lynn. Its mission is to assist newly arriving refugees and immigrants with integration into American society.  Formed in 1991 by former refugees of the Soviet Union,  the organization was determined to help others fleeing religious and political persecution in…

  16. Photo Book: Sanctuary

    12 Aug 2021
    As a growing photographer, my library is starting to collect a number of photo books.  This is one that fits right along with the City of God project.  Thomas Roma is a photographer based in New York City.  In Sanctuary, he presents 52 black and white photographs of  churches…

  17. Website: Social Documentary Network

    17 Jun 2021
    The Social Documentary Network is a global network of people focused on the power of visual storytelling related to the issues and concerns of our world today.  I first learned about SDN when I attended a talk given by the founder, Glen Ruga, in Newburyport several years ago. If you…

  18. Learning: Coming Together at Market Basket

    01 Mar 2021
    The Balentine family has lived in Lynn now for just over six months. My how time flies. With COVID, it has been a challenging time to try and get to know our new church family and also this city.  But despite being kept inside by winter and COVID most of…

  19. Learning: Relocating to the City

    01 Dec 2020
    At Christmas, we celebrate God’s coming to earth in human form to live and breath and walk and work and serve among us.  Matthew 1:23 says that Jesus could be called, “Emmanuel”, meaning “God with us.”  Jesus showed his love for us by becoming human and making his “dwelling among…

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