I am excited to share the most recent news about evangelism and mission initiatives from GA 221 which has been meeting this week in Detroit, Michigan June 14 – 21, 2014. The collage of photos here shows our presbytery friends at GA 221. I also include a warm shout out to PLR new worshiping communities/churches and friends so that you will know who they are, worship our awesome God with them, and be Spirit-led to nurture our new communities of faith. Here’s the news and what else we can do daily, faithfully:
“To keep the momentum going, the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) board is offering several recommendations. One of them encourages church sessions to pray daily at 10:02 a.m. the words from Luke 10:2 asking God to send more laborers into the harvest field. Another encourages each presbytery to start at least one new worshiping community in the next two years.
- “Educate a Child, Transform the World” (14-02) aims to involve Presbyterians at every level in efforts to improve the quality of education for one million children in the United States and around the world over the next four years. The initiative builds on a longstanding Presbyterian commitment to transforming society by providing access to quality education. It seeks to address “the root causes of poverty, particularly as they impact women and children”—a priority focus of the PMA.
- “Living Missionally” (14-03) seeks to “inspire, equip, and connect Presbyterians to continue to go beyond the walls of their congregations and increase their engagement in service to their communities and the world.” Building on the conviction that “doing mission is central to what it means to be the church,” the initiative proposes a goal of engaging at least 1,000 congregations a year in volunteer service and mission endeavors at home and around the world.
- 1001 New Worshiping Communities progress report (14-01) on the movement to organize 1,001 new worshiping communities in the PC(USA) in the next decade. Formally launched at the 120th General Assembly (2012), the 1,001 initiative has facilitated the organization of at least 235 new worshiping communities in 89 presbyteries to date.”
Praise God for the vibrant and life-giving work in which the Spirit is engaging many of us. Here’s my shout out to some of the 1001 new worshiping communities in our Presbytery of Los Ranchos and their leaders: Arabic Fellowship (Huntington Beach, Adel Malek); Canvas (Irvine, Kirk Winslow); Common Villages (our presbytery’s first wall-less church reaching South Orange County, Steve Wright); Hope for Life Chapel – RV Ministry (Huntington Beach, Tamara John); KUMG – Church of Amazing Grace (Santa Ana, Johnson Kimuhu); New Hope Pres. (Orange, Chineta Goodjoin); and Not Church (Baja California, Mexico, Erin Dunigan). I have enjoyed worshiping with most of these communities. I continue to want to visit them periodically as I find it uplifting. The worship music is diverse and I meet a wide variety of peoples too, de-churched, unchurched, new immigrants, ex pats, and more. Some of these new communities, it seems to me, would benefit a great deal from fellowship with other disciples and congregations. And so, I invite you to visit at least one new PLR worshiping community this summer. Witness first-hand the work of the Spirit in our little corner. Maybe even become a part of it. If nothing else, you will definitely recapture those powerful moments that many of you wrote about when the Arabic Fellowship’s praise band and leaders led Mission Summit 2014 worship and the break out session: Reaching Out to Muslims!
Congratulations to Tamara and Chineta who on behalf of their new worshiping communities, submitted videos Growing Together, To Grow Together and Composing Community respectively to the 1001 worshiping communities video contest. New Hope Pres. won the first prize of $10,000. I have no doubt they will put to good use!
Finally, Committee 14 which worked on these evangelism and mission initiatives is the one our very own Stated Clerk Forrest Claassen was “staffing at PC(USA) General Assembly…” “Yes, I get in on the fun stuff,” Forrest posted on Facebook.
Credits: Section within quotations was excerpted from General Assembly backgrounder: Congregational Vitality – GA221 to consider three Church-wide initiatives on evangelism, mission (June 6, 2014) by Eva Stimson. Read the complete article and other GA updates here: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/6/13/staying-informed-ga221/
Photographs were taken by Forrest Claassen, Erin Dunigan, Tom Dykhuizen, David Rohde.