I have news that has the potential to strengthen congregations, build relationships, and draw congregations and the presbytery ever closer to God as we listen to the Spirit’s still, small voice.
Back in April of this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill, who is the Associate for Vital Congregations for the PC(USA). At that time, Kathryn shared her hopes and dreams not only for our denomination, but for our communities, our culture, our nation, and the world.
She also shared that she and Ray Jones, the denomination’s Associate for Evangelism, were hard at work on what is now called a “Revitalization Initiative.” The initiative “is a two-year covenant relationship between pilot presbyteries and the PC(USA) to prayerfully walk with pastors (and ministry leaders) and existing congregations in intentional efforts of revitalization.”
It is not a quick fix for struggling congregations and presbyteries. It is not an opportunity to tell anyone what to do! Rather, it is to encourage courageous discipleship and for congregations and the presbytery to be open to the wonder of God. Kathryn explained that once the initiative was ready to roll, a small number of presbyteries would be invited to pilot it on behalf of the PC(USA).
On behalf of the Vision Accountability Board, the Ministry Leadership Team, and the Newark Administrative Commission, I am beyond excited to report that the Presbytery of Newark has accepted the invitation of the PC(USA) to be one of the four pilot presbyteries!
What does it require of me?
What are the details of the Initiative?
Why should I do this?
We are already vital…is there something for us?
We’re tired…why would we want to be part of this?
How is this different from New Beginnings?
I firmly believe that in 2017 – where our Presbytery theme is “For Such a Time as This” – that this IS the time where God is inviting us to open our hands, our hearts and our minds to the new thing that God is doing in our communities, our nation, and our world.