• Editorials 11 hours ago

    “ … with those who weep”

    “ … with those who weep”

    by Jack Haberer
    “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” So the Apostle Paul exhorted the church in Rome. In the previous issue of the Outlook I spoke directly to those rejoicing over actions taken at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Now I turn my attention to those weeping. For some among us, the eight-day sojourn in Detroit Lions’ country will be remembered as a failure on the level of children of Israel building a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Those hoping to… continue reading...
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  • Book Reviews 11 hours ago

    Starting Missional Churches: Life with God in the Neighborhood (bookmark)

    Starting Missional Churches: Life with God in the Neighborhood (bookmark)

    by Roy Howard
    Mark Lau Branson and Nicholas Warnes, editors  InterVarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, Ill. 192 pages  At the recent General Assembly, commissioners in the Congregational Vitality Committee were sent into the neighborhood to listen and watch for God “out there.” They went two-by-two into Detroit neighborhoods, striking up conversations and taking notice of what was happening. The premise is that this is increasingly the way new congregations will begin to emerge: from the streets. And that is the premise of this set of essays edited by two seasoned church planters and consultants, describing… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Reporting 1 day ago

    Columbia president affirms faith despite spreading cancer

    Columbia president affirms faith despite spreading cancer

    by Leslie Scanlon
    Steve Hayner The news was not what anyone wanted to hear: despite aggressive treatment, the pancreatic cancer has spread in the body of Steve Hayner, the beloved, gifted president of Columbia Theological Seminary. The board of Columbia seminary will meet Aug. 7 to determine whether Deborah Flemister Mullen, the executive vice-president and dean of faculty, will remain as acting president as she has been since early June while Hayner received treatment, or whether other arrangements need to be made as the start of the fall semester approaches. The board also… continue reading...
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“ … with those who weep”

jack haberer_sm

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” So the Apostle Paul exhorted the church in Rome. In the previous issue of the Outlook I spoke directly to those rejoicing over actions taken at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Now I turn my attention to those weeping. For some among us, the eight-day sojourn in Detroit Lions’ country will be remembered as a failure on the level of children of Israel building a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Those hoping to see the denomination’s highest governing body “steel” itself against proposed policy changes, as they did at the 2012 assembly in Pittsburgh, felt like a lion in a den of Daniels. How shall we respond? First, those self-defining as conservative evangelicals need to own their part of those actions. When two teams agree to play a game and one doesn’t show, what happens? It loses by forfeit. Well, in every GA meeting through the recent decades, scores of evangelicals volunteered … [Read more...]

Starting Missional Churches: Life with God in the Neighborhood (bookmark)

Bookmark

Mark Lau Branson and Nicholas Warnes, editors  InterVarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, Ill. 192 pages  At the recent General Assembly, commissioners in the Congregational Vitality Committee were sent into the neighborhood to listen and watch for God “out there.” They went two-by-two into Detroit neighborhoods, striking up conversations and taking notice of what was happening. The premise is that this is increasingly the way new congregations will begin to emerge: from the streets. And that is the premise of this set of essays edited by two seasoned church planters and consultants, describing various worshipping communities around the country. The essays are seven stories by seven pastors of new and diverse congregations coming into being. They point out that an estimated 3,700 American congregations will stop functioning while 4,000 new congregations will be formed. That is not a pace to keep up with the population. If the church is to remain vital and connected to communities, there … [Read more...]

Company of New Pastors announces expansion plans

GREENSBORO, N.C. (PNS) With more than 400 current participants and 500 alumni/ae, the Company of New Pastors (CNP) is setting its sights even higher. The Rev. Karen Russell, who provides oversight for CNP — a transition-into-ministry program centered in helping seminary students develop a deeply theological core as they enter pastoral ministry — says the program is seeking to broaden its availability. “I think a program like this is even more important today,” said Russell. “Providing for the support and formation of new pastors and pastors-to-be seems to be a no-brainer.” Since 2002, CNP has offered support through mentored peer groups, encouraged the practices of daily prayer and scripture reading, and facilitated sustained theological reflection for more than 500 new pastoral leaders. The program, while simple, has often provided a lifeline for new ministers as they navigate the early years of ministry. Until this year, only those seminary graduates who had participated … [Read more...]

Columbia president affirms faith despite spreading cancer

Steve Hayner

The news was not what anyone wanted to hear: despite aggressive treatment, the pancreatic cancer has spread in the body of Steve Hayner, the beloved, gifted president of Columbia Theological Seminary. The board of Columbia seminary will meet Aug. 7 to determine whether Deborah Flemister Mullen, the executive vice-president and dean of faculty, will remain as acting president as she has been since early June while Hayner received treatment, or whether other arrangements need to be made as the start of the fall semester approaches. The board also is expected to appoint a search committee to consider candidates for an interim president, said Bill Scheu, a lawyer who is chair of the seminary’s board. Hayner, 66, became Columbia’s 9th president in 2009 and previously served as a pastor, professor of evangelism and church growth at Columbia, and president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. “People are grieving,” Scheu said. “They love Steve.” In the days since receiving the … [Read more...]

Unbar the door! (50 years ago)

50 years ago — June 29, 1964 The issue of race rocked our nation and the church. “Let each one of us ask himself whether he is not standing in this very moment in the midst of Peter’s … friends when the Roman Centurion requested baptism. Is there not in our denomination at this moment a question being asked … ‘Can any man forbid water … ?’” We wrestle with the question. I don’t want to “‘extend the limits of my comfortable circle.’ ‘I’d rather … bar the church against any whose presence makes me uncomfortable.’ ‘In all candor, I don’t care … to make all races welcome in my congregation.’ … But what is at stake may be our very discipleship, our eternal destiny. … What if we are fighting against … God … . The Holy Spirit came not only on Cornelius … but upon Peter and … his … friends. … The answer to the question, ‘Can any man forbid water?’ is: If he does, how can he be my disciple? … Let us cease … from the vain attempt to dam up the fountain of Living Waters.” From “Unbar the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Bashar Warda

“It’s chaotic, really chaotic. People are not just worried and afraid, but they are really depressed about what will be the future, if there is a future.” (RNS) ARCHBISHOP BASHAR WARDA, of the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil in Iraq, speaking to Vatican Radio about the Sunni-led insurgency that is upending life in Iraq. … [Read more...]