Guys, I’m in Jerusalem! If you want to have a tweetup, meet me at the well at noon! #COJ1
The General assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) starts this week in Detroit, Michigan. I have a friend, Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana, who’s standing for Vice-Moderator, so I wanted to write a bit about Rev. Dr. John Wilkinson, who is standing for Moderator.
It’s been a long time since Mr. Show with Bob and David has been on HBO, but there are a few sketches that come to mind even now. Especially when I read about the PC(USA) in the news. In particular, "The Fairsley Difference."
Boy, "In Christ Alone" just will not stay out of the churchy news. A few weeks ago it was standing in for all hymnody ever in the face of the chorus-singing horde; now it's standing in for confessional evangelicals' valiant defense against the liberal horde. Coming soon: "In Christ Alone" as a symbol of resistance to common-cup communion, or missional-everything fervor, or preaching from your iPad. But about that liberal horde.
In preparing the new PCUSA hymnal, our committee may have made some wrong decisions. But they weren't careless or cavalier ones.
"I've been given an opportunity to color outside the lines," says Nanette Sawyer of Grace Commons and St James Presbyterian Church in Chicago, "the permission and charge to be creative and experimental."
Why are we losing congregations? There are many factors. If I’m painting with a broad brush, I’d say that it is because we are largely rural, white and older. What can we do to ensure a vital future? Focus on urban church planting.
More than half of our small congregations cannot afford a full-time pastor, and many associate pastor positions were cut during the recent economic downturn. These are churches where seminary graduates would normally be heading, so what are the congregations doing instead?
The struggle to choose the hymns for the small rural congregation I serve is a microcosm of the challenges faced by members of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) as it decides what hymns and songs to include in the next Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hymnal and electronic resources.