After the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I was appointed to serve on the Middle Governing Bodies Commission, which was renamed the Mid Councils Commission after our new Form of Government went into effect in 2011. On February 13, 2012 the commission voted to finalize our report to the 220th General Assembly. Now it is in the hands of the church. More specifically, it is in the hands of the commissioners to the 220th General Assembly, who will act on it in July. Between now and then, my hope is that members of the commission will be in conversation with the wider to church about our report and recommendations.
This is a collection of posts on our report. Please follow this link for posts written while I was in the process of serving on the commission.
Let’s Talk About the Mid Councils Commission
An introduction to this series.
A Denomination in Decline
What should we make of the PC(USA)’s significant membership losses?
Are Presbyterian mid councils anachronistic, burdensome, and unsustainable?
The Quest for True Parity
What would true parity between ruling and teaching elders look like?
Differences, Divisions, and Conflicts
What kinds of structures and practices will best serve the goal of maintaining both unity and diversity?
Multiculturalism and Racial Ethnic Representation
What will a truly multicultural PC(USA) look like?
Living in the “Posts”: Post-Christendom
How can the ecclesial structures of the PC(USA) be adapted or re-formed for a post-Christendom context?
Living in the “Posts”: Post-Denominational
What is the future of denominations in our post-denominational era?
A New World
What are the church’s greatest opportunities in our flat, networked, postmodern, post-Christendom world?
Emerging Church Responses to Our Changing World
How might the church, its understanding of the gospel, and its organizational structures be adapted in response to the changing contexts of our flat, networked, postmodern, post-Christendom world?
Geography Isn’t What It Used to Be
How do we answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” in our flat and networked world?
From Changing Contexts to New Models
The conclusion of the “Changing Contexts” section of the report, with a list of questions to serve as guides and evaluative tools.
We Expect Too Much and Too Little From Presbyteries
Non-geographic presbyteries are not a silver bullet that will magically solve the problems of the PC(USA). Neither do they represent, in my view, the full focus or potential of the MCC recommendations. But I do believe that they can contribute to a broader season of experimentation in which we can refocus the purpose and function of our presbyteries and ensure that these are in fact the most important networks we belong to as Presbyterians.