Do We Know God? (Reflections on #BigTent15)

I spent this past weekend in Knoxville, TN for the fourth biennial Big Tent conference of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In a departure from previous Big Tents—which were structured so as to bring together several PC(USA) conferences at one time and one place—this time it was designed as a single … Read more about Do We Know God? (Reflections on #BigTent15)

Where’s the Good News?

I've been reading in preparation for my introduction to evangelism course this fall. The academic literature on evangelism is fairly consistent in pointing out that in the 20th century mainline Protestants and other non-evangelical churches have emphasized social action instead of proclamation. The … Read more about Where’s the Good News?

Why Evangelism?

I've never had "evangelism" in my job title before, and quite frankly I never thought that I would. Though most people never said anything out loud, when I told them about my new job I could see the curiosity in their eyes. Why would I leave a successful pastoral ministry at one of the most … Read more about Why Evangelism?

Not So Sweet 16 for the PC(USA)

In addition to the new Pew report on US religious trends, this week we also received the 2014 statistics report from the Presbyterian Church (USA). This data shows what decline looks like in the denomination I serve. Two years ago, when the PC(USA) posted a membership loss of almost 103,000, I … Read more about Not So Sweet 16 for the PC(USA)

On My Year as Presbytery Moderator

A week and a half ago I ended my one year term as Moderator of the Presbytery of Chicago by handing over the cross and gavel to Sonia Bodi. Serving as a presbytery moderator was a challenging and rewarding experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do it. In no particular order, here are some … Read more about On My Year as Presbytery Moderator

How is Our Brand Doing?

Last Friday there was a nice synchronicity between two of the blogs I read on a daily basis. Seth Godin mused about logos and branding: The original reason for brands was to let the buyer know the source of the goods. "We made this," says the organization we trust when we buy something. Over … Read more about How is Our Brand Doing?

Divesting of Power

Readers of this blog will not be surprised that I was disappointed by the decision of the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA)---at which I was a voting commissioner---to divest from Hewlett Packard, Motorola Solutions, and Caterpillar because they profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian … Read more about Divesting of Power

What Comes After Divestment?

One of the things I was dreading about GA221 is another round of the fight we’ve been having about divestment for the past decade, a debate that has dominated much of my GA experience. I knew it would get ugly, and it has. Friends are treating each other like enemies. I confess my own complicity in … Read more about What Comes After Divestment?