Friday, June 24, 2016
Social Justice Committee: Item 11 - 05
Very important words:
After a careful and long time of selecting the proper words, the paragraph copied here was approved by the General Assembly. This language does not include an explicit "apology". The question about whether the church should apologize was central to the debate around this issue. The original overture from New York City Presbytery was an explicit apology. This is not a constitutional issue, and this language is not intended to be added to the Book of Order. This is simply a statement approved by the General Assembly. This compromise language passed 463 YES to 51 NO:
The NEXT Church Report: Denominational Listening Campaign around Transformational Mission
In addition to the "We Gather at the Table" church-wide survey which was inspired by Moderator Heath Rada, there is another resource that should be widely considered. The NEXT Church sponsored a series of listening visits across the denomination and their report is now available on their website. This report is very important. The conclusion of the direct connection between "congregational vitality" and "missional engagement" has become a foundational truth for the church today.
These discussion questions quoted from the NEXT Church report are vital:
Questions Going Forward
● What does denominational participation mean today?
● Where are the spaces to work through foundational questions that are not about voting? (Questions such as, what is mission? What is the role of the presbytery?)
● Is mission the threshold/entry space that worship was in previous era? If so, what resources exist (or need to be created) to help integrate education and spiritual development through mission, if that’s where people are engaging first?