congregational renewal

A Different Animal

Sunday I met with a session to begin the process of closing a church.  It reminded me of this, the first chapter of a book I’m working on.  This is just a draft, so comments are welcome …. “That’s why the presbytery sent you, right?  To close us?” Ruth whispers…

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Last Tuesday night, Dwayne and I wanted a pizza.  We have “pizza” on speed dial and called to order a pepperoni pie.  There was no answer.  I called again, and the ringing went on and on and on.  Why?  Why wouldn’t the pizzeria pick up?  We thought, maybe they’re very…

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Praise God for Liminal Times!

Throwback Thursday … another way for me not to lose some older writing I did and to share what’s still relevant.  This post was first published in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Connections, a publication of the Presbytery of New Covenant. I attended a workshop on Spirituality at the Congregational Transformation Conference…

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What about a Biker Missionary?

Throwback Thursday a day late.  This is an article I wrote in September 2009 and was published in the October issue of “Connections,” the newsletter of New Covenant Presbytery.   I share it here, because this story will be featured in the fourth chapter of the book I’m currently working on, “Twenty-eight…

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Keep it 100: Know Yourself

This is the General Presbyter report to Monmouth Presbytery June 23, 2015 You’ve heard me talk about Keeping it 100 for the past few meetings.  In February I spoke about Keep it 100 in the presbytery by being 100% real and honest with each other.  I also talked about keeping it 100…

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Spiritual Health Club

What if new member orientation in a church was more like an initial meeting with a personal trainer at a health club?  This is the question Reggie McNeal asks in his book, The Present Future (2003). Instead of dumping a packet of church club member stuff on them, why not interview…

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More than Mere Survival … Sustainability

I’ve begun the first week of my first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University.  This summer I presented a problem to the presbytery leader learning community in Connecticut … the problem, I proposed, is that church as we know it is not sustainable.  I…

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