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NEXT Church gathering
Ever since discovering their church was built a century ago partly through funds donated “for the white race only,” the 1,200 or so members and the leadership of Knox Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, have worked hard not to duck the church’s history, but to learn from it and to, in tangible ways, reach out and make connections that make it clear where the church is headed during the next 100 years: ending the sin of systemic racism.
If you want to know what’s next in the life of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations, the director of NEXT Church is a good one to ask.
About five years ago, Adam J. Copeland met with a husband and wife who were co-pastoring a church.The couple tithed their income to the congregation and had no extra income to give to other charities and causes that they wanted to support. That reality had made them resentful of the church.“If tithing to church is the goal, there needed to be a reality check,” Copeland says.
Meeting together since 2010 as a group dedicated to “vibrant theological discussion, spiritual growth and evangelistic courage” in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), NEXT Church is gathering this week under its 2019 theme “Woven Together: Stories of Dissonance, Sacrifice and Liberation.”
Dr. Jonathan L. Walton, Harvard University Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and the Pusey Minister at the Memorial Church of Harvard University, wrapped up this year’s NEXT Church gathering with a talk titled “Be Suspicious of Praise!” His keynote presentation gave voice and encouragement to bold and prophetic ministry.