NEXT Retrospect: Indianapolis

The fourth NEXT Church national gathering is next week in Minneapolis. I’ve been to each of these gatherings so far, and I’ve come away each time with lots to think about and experiment with. This week we’ll look back at the first three NEXT gatherings and suggest things I’m looking forward to at this year’s […]

“I Don’t Know How To Lead People”

Last week a friend said to me, “I don’t know how to lead people.” He’s a pastor– been one for 10 years. Last month an Elder scribbled a note during a meeting of our Christian Education and Leadership Commission and slid it to me: “We’re not training any leaders!” Yesterday I read this on the […]

ECO and the Mainline Tradition (continued)

Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown offer a definition of the Mainline Tradition in their book, “Religion And Politics In The United States” : “Stressing Jesus’ role as prophet of social justice, the Mainline Tradition sanctifies altruism and regards selfishness as the cardinal sin. In this tradition, which extends membership to all and understands religious […]

ECO And The Mainline Tradition

In the introduction to Elesha J. Coffman’s The Christian Century And The Rise of The Protestant Mainline the author proposes that “the mainline”–that cluster of protestant denominations that includes Methodist, Presbyterian, Evangelical Lutheran, Episcopalian, Disciples of Christ, and the United Church of Christ–be understood as a tradition in the Alisdair MacIntyre sense of that word. According to […]

As Though We Are Being Saved

A summary of last night’s presbytery meeting: The money’s nearly gone. The Executive is gone. Two churches are gone and three more are trying to get gone. Two pastors are gone, one to a disciplinary action and the other to resignation forced by illness. Gone, baby, gone. The gathering diminished throughout the evening, an apparent microcosm […]

This Hurts (A Reader Responds)

A good friend and colleague replied to yesterday’s post about the many churches leaving the Presbyterian Church (USA). Not wanting to focus attention on himself, he replied in a private email message, but he’s given me permission to share his response here. I’m sharing it because it brought me comfort and encouragement, and I hope […]

This Hurts

Another domino has fallen in the chain of churches marching out of the PC(USA) and into ECO, the new denomination formed by disaffected Presbyterians nearly two years ago. And this domino is big (actually, all of these dominoes tend big–and suburban). Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas voted to leave on Sunday. On Monday I […]

The Fellowship Theology Draft

Yesterday I posted my response to the Fellowship of Presbyterians’ Polity Draft. This post will briefly summarize and respond to the companion Theology Draft released at the same time on the groups’ website. The Theology Draft does three things: it addresses the question of a theological standard (namely, confessional statements) for the New Reformed Body, […]