Advent resources

PFR Board Speaks on Church Discipline

The Board of Directors of Presbyterians for Renewal, meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Sept. 28, 2002, issued the following statement:

We believe in and intend to follow faithfully Jesus Christ as Lord of all, and the will of God as revealed in the Holy Scripture.

Meeting less often is not better

Following the advice of this past General Assembly, the next time a feuding family comes into my office seeking pastoral counseling, I guess I should tell them, "Meet less often!" Sounds like absurd, bad advice when spoken to a feuding family, doesn’t it? It is equally bad counsel when spoken by the GA to a denomination which is an extended, feuding family system.

Reinventing Theological Education II

As stated in this column last week, the 10 theological seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) collectively are arguably the most important set of institutions beyond the congregation, with which they have a symbiotic relationship. To the extent that the Presbyterian tradition depends on learned ministers and educated lay people, derived from a deeply ingrained commitment to serving God with the mind, the seminaries are indispensable.

Covenant Network Board Adopts Statment on Constitutional Observance

Meeting in Chicago this week, the Board of Directors of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians discussed current actions within the Presbyterian Church and adopted the following statement:

"The Covenant Network of Presbyterians is committed to working for the removal of G-6.0106b from the Book of Order.

Some Room for Further Exploration

It is not surprising that my first reaction on reading "A Future for Our Seminaries" was to say, "Of course, that’s right; our seminaries are doing a good job." The intensive work that C. Ellis Nelson, Bob Lynn and I did (along with Larry Jones, the "outsider" who was dean of Howard University Divinity School) as consultants for part of the major study mentioned by Nelson, opened up avenues of thought that could extend over a lifetime. Here I choose only to quarrel a bit with one of his recommendations, and then to mention five areas which we need to explore further.

A Promising Point of Departure

Anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson wrote several years ago, "Men and women confronting change are never fully prepared for the demands of the moment." But "they are strengthened to meet uncertainty if they can claim a history of improvisation and a habit of reflection."

A Future for our Seminaries

Presidents of Presbyterian seminaries are often asked, "How is the seminary getting along?" The answer most presidents give includes two observations. The..

Is the Church’s Call for Younger Seminarians Realisitic?

Yes — if demographers’ forecasts of significantly increasing enrollment at all levels of the education system over the next decade are accurate.

According to the Condition of Education 2001 report by the Education Department’s National Center of Education Statistics, full-time, four-year undergraduate enrollments will grow faster than part-time and two-year college enrollments during the next decade. The report also forecasts college enrollment of women will continue to outpace that of men during the next 10 years.

Who is Our Neighbor?

As suggested in this column last week, we have an obligation to reach out to those Christian brothers and sisters in our own fold who for whatever reason have become distant or estranged — either by our action, or theirs, or by both — before we go to the Table of our Lord.