Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for humankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders. (Ps. 107:31-32)
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ's sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed- be shepherds of God's flock under your care. (1 Peter 5:1,2)
Thoughts: We had meetings at the Fellowship of Presbyterian meeting place (Bloomington MN) from 8 AM til 10:30 PM. Thousands are here with lots of worship meetings, prayers, and idea sharing. Apparently there will be a meeting in January (in Orlando- thank God) where the proposals at this meeting will take more concrete form. It is obvious that different churches have different felt needs because of their contexts. Some are happy in their presbyteries who work together well and do not spend extensive time on such debates and there is tremendous trust and pulling together. Others are looking at having two presbyteries in the same area; others are pulling out. Still others are in hostile presbyteries who make it hard to say no to them. Yet, there is a tremendous, strong sense of unity and pulling together for a common cause.
I learned some things today. I did not know that in 2001 more Christians belonged to non-denominational churches than the denominational ones. It is clear we are in a post-denomination environment. Yet, schism is still something real. We heard from the PCUSA moderator and stated clerk today too- they are here. Heard some great preaching, and good conversation with elders concerned about their local church but also about the Church as a whole.
Prayer: May the elders lead the church, O Lord. May all the people follow.