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Parking lot meetings. Wealthy members with outsized influence. Inconsistent practices. Confusion about purpose and vision. There are lots of ways for a congregation’s systems to be unhealthy, and I suspect you could add to this list. Whatever the problem or situation, all do one thing: They undermine a church’s vitality.
While about 85 percent of the congregations within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are predominately white, more than half of Presbyterians recently surveyed said they’re not opposed to worshiping in a congregation where most of the members aren’t of the same racial and ethnic background as they are.
Last month, the Stewpot, a ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, served its 8 millionth meal — equivalent to 13 million pounds or 2,800 pallets of food — marking a major milestone in the ministry’s 44-year history.
A $350,000 gift from an anonymous donor is inspiring congregations and community partners to work together to put their faith into action through new and existing mission initiatives in communities across the Presbytery of Detroit.
Fourteen Presbyteries were selected this week to be part of the first wave of a national launch of the Vital Congregations Revitalization Initiative in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — which is designed to help their churches live more faithfully as disciples of Jesus Christ.
While sitting in a committee meeting in 2004, Tom Neal asked, “How do we help all our churches get involved in mission?” Since no formal system was in place within the Presbytery of Detroit at that time, he and others worked to create the Hands-On Mission Work Group (HOMWG).
One of the first Presbytery of San Jose meetings the Rev. Sammie Evans attended as the new pastor at Stone Church of the Wooded Glen was to hear a presentation from the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill on Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Vital Congregations Revitalization Initiative, which is designed to help churches live more faithfully as disciples of Jesus Christ.