Reflections Nov 3, 2014

On November 19, 2014, in Uncategorized, by admin

Reflections (mostly weekly) from Ron

November 3, 2014

New Beginnings. New Beginnings, a PCUSA program, was used by two churches in the Presbytery of Pueblo last year and a number of others are preparing to do the same as 2015 gets underway. Some questions have come up.

How does New Beginnings differ from Growing Healthy Churches? The Growing Healthy Churches initiative used by several Presbytery churches a few years ago, had a substantially different orientation. An outside team came to a church, met with key people, did a careful assessment and formed a plan of action to propose to the church. The church in turn either rejected the plan or adopted in totality and attempted to put it into action. In contrast, New Beginnings uses a single outside assessor who does a study and leads the church in developing its own plans for how it will prepare for its next stage of life as a congregation. Some would say one is somewhat more top-down and the other more bottom-up.

How often does a church need to rethink its vision for the future? Among people who study churches, it is commonly said that a congregation needs to reexamine who it is and how it expects to move forward every five to seven years. Established churches typically develop fixed ways of living their life together and, without thoughtful reconsideration, continue a pattern that eventually becomes one of decline. New Beginnings is one approach to the needed revisioning.

Resources. Today’s world has an exploding wealth of resources available to us from various tribes and communities of Christ followers. A practice with roots in Jewish tradition, centuries of Catholic use, and more recently highlighted in Anglican practice, is fixed-hour prayer, or praying the Divine Hours. At certain times of each day, a person steps aside from the normal activities of the day for prayer, following a set pattern of prayers, psalms and meditations.. It is available today on your computer from a site that gives you the prayers and support for the given day and time of the day. You can even customize the site for your particular time zone. It has been provided for a number of years now by a Vineyard church in Ann Arbor and can be found at annarborvineyard.org/tdh/tdh.cfm. It is worth checking out.

Ronald D. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Presbyter
Presbytery of Pueblo

 

Leave a Reply



Theme by Pagelines with modifications by Computer Images
-->