Traditioned Innovation

Thank you Richard Topping, for sharing this.  Try new things.  Experiment.  And rapidly scale what works. Summarized in poem by Mary Oliver:

I did think, let’s go about this slowly.
This is important. This should take
some really deep thought. We should take
small thoughtful steps.

But, bless us, we didn’t.

Until we split again?

The Christian Church lasted 1054 years before Rome and Constantinople send excommunication letters to each other – the first major split.  1054 years.

The next official split in the Western Church is often pinned to January 1521, when Martin Luther received his own excommunication letter.  This combined with other departures from the Roman Church, including the Lutherans, the Anabaptists, the Reformed, and the Church of England.

Today in Scotland there at least 7 denominations in the Church of Scotland.  In South Korea, over 100 Presbyterian denominations.

So like it or not, the Presbyterian Church in Canada comes from a long tradition of church splitting.  In fact, we’re experts in the field.  In business since at 1521.  (And no, don’t use that slogan on your church signs.)

And I see another one coming for the Presbyterian Church in Canada.   So here are my points:

  1.  Is it time for this 500 year flurry of splitting to be over?  Have the Reformation, and the associated Christian movements, done their thing and can we attach ourselves to something a little larger than an identity of breaking into pieces over nationality, worship practices, differences in theology?
  2. In the PCC right now, we have the PSALT movement and the Presbyterians for LGBTQ movement.  Must this lead to groups of churches leaving the PCC?  (It it has in the PCUSA.)
  3. Is the grace of Jesus Christ big enough for the PCC to remain together or not?  I  mean, how large is the span of the cross and how deep was that tomb?
  4. Can we in the PCC live with some ambiguity or must everything be certain for everyone all the time?  The early churches for the first 1054 years lived with a huge amount of ambiguity – with at least 10 major schools of practice and thought, including Nestorianism.  1054 years before a split.  What are we at in the PCC on same sex marriage and ordination now, 30 years?
  5. And what will a split in the PCC on this topic achieve?   Justice?  Right theology?  Until the we split again?
  6. I would like to the PCC not split over this debate.  Not have churches leave.  I would like to see the PCC to find the risen Jesus in his transformative power enough for us to stay together.
  7. And so, I would like this in the PCC to become a local decision for each congregation.  With ordinations done by the General Assembly, each year?  And then each church calling Ministers accordingly.  Or some similar working out.
  8. And I would like the PCC to put its mind on helping the poor and worshipping God in creative and strong ways that transform people.

I mean, remember, we can always split.  That’s easy.  And we are good at it.  But I really think that time is over, and the PCC needs to think about who we might join or which new churches we might plant.





Great Bible for Children – The Jesus Storybook Bible

I can recommend this Bible for children.  Great for parents to read to children and children to read to parents.  Tells the story and interprets its meaning as it goes.  Really good.  The Jesus Storybook Bible

From the publisher’s website:

“The Moonbeam Award Gold Medal Winner in the religion category, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. At the center of the Story is a baby, the child upon whom everything will depend. Every story whispers his name. From Noah to Moses to the great King David—every story points to him. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will pick up the clues and piece together the puzzle. A Bible like no other, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their Story too.”