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Rebuilding Community: In the Higher Governing Bodies

We’ve been discussing at some length in this column the need at this time for Presbyterians and the Presbyterian Church to recover the wellsprings of faith and to experience the rebuilding of community under Jesus Christ its Head, and by means of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.

‘Presbyterian Presence’ Pursued: The Editors look at the results

The current directed study on Reformed Theology for certification of Christian educators in our church refers readers to "‘The Presbyterian Predicament’ [by] Coalter, Mulder, Weeks (A six-volume set of the history . . . )." The actual title of the seven-volume set — they wrote another book later — was "The Presbyterian Presence in the 20th Century," but the mistake in thinking of our study as the "Presbyterian Predicament" is both a common one and a telling one.

Rebuilding Community – In the Congregation

If the primary task of the Presbyterian Church today is the task of rebuilding community under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit — as has been suggested in recent weeks — then the primary locus of that building effort must be in the congregation. For the congregation is where the people of God have their spiritual home.

The Birthrigh of Our Tradition: The Presbyterian Mission to Higher Education

A religious and spiritual revival is underway on the campuses of American colleges and universities. It is propelled by students searching for meaning in their lives, by the growing religious pluralism in American society and, perhaps surprisingly, by the post-modern movement itself. No campus is free from its influence, but only a few have recognized its power. To the extent that we Presbyterians understand our higher educational mission as a mission to promote Presbyterianism we may achieve a sectarian goal, but miss being a part of this extraordinary movement.

Dancing Cheek to Cheek

The older I get the more content I become with my own preferences.  I try very hard to participate with the modern world but I find it difficult and often annoying.  For example, a recent Presbyterian book of worship recommended the use of dance in the church service.

Rebuilding the Community of the Church

Forty years ago, the Presbyterian Church — in both its principal branches, the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church, U.S. — was busy marshaling its accumulated spiritual and material resources in addressing major structural issues of justice in American society which had been long neglected.

The Wellsprings of Faith

It is time for Presbyterians to remember and to recover the wellsprings of their faith, the fountainhead of God’s grace which suffuses the life of each Christian, of the church and even the world, though the world knows it not.

Those wellsprings are a constant source of faith, hope and love, and they are always there, but it is easy to forget that they are there; easy to ignore them; easy to turn from them in the struggles of everyday life.

Call for special session has numbers, but timing is not right say some

Note — Since this story was posted on Oct. 21, we have received an e-mail from Alex Metherell, whom we attempted to reach last week but did not receive a reply. His response is as follows:

"Your report gives the impression that we have the 50 signatures needed to call the special meeting of the 214th General Assembly. In fact, we have 25 signatures (13 elders and 12 ministers) representing 19 presbyteries and 11 synods. All of these came from the e-mailing I made to about 70 commissioners. We still need to get another 12 elder commissioners and 13 minister commissioners. I have now sent out via regular mail a call to all 554 commissioners," wrote Metherell.

More Sensitive Than Thou

You may have missed it, but here in the Empire State a woman in Brooklyn has started a mini-revolution. On Sunday, June 2, a front-page story in the New York Times headlined: "The Elderly Man and the Sea? Test Sanitizes Literary Texts." Jeanne Heifetz, who is the mother of a high school senior, had inspected 10 high school statewide Regents English exams from the past three years and found that a large number of passages from well-known authors had been sanitized of any reference to race, religion, ethnicity, sex, nudity, alcohol and even the mildest profanity.

Constitutional Crisis or Connectional Conundrum?

"Constitutional crisis." Those two words roll off the tongue as easily as "Just do it" or "the real thing." These days, "constitutional crisis" seems to be rolling off more Presbyterian tongues than the other expressions. Have we fallen into a constitutional crisis? Is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on the verge of exploding for a lack of constitutional cohesion?