In 1997 the Office of the General Assembly, the General Assembly Council, the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, the Board of Pensions, the PC(USA) Foundation and the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Corporation recommended to the 209th General Assembly that the denomination enter into a 6 year study of the Great Ends of the Church. The www.pcusa.org web site is somewhat difficult to navigate when it comes to past General Assemblies, but the 210th General Assembly began a two year celebration of the Great Ends of the Church:
“The great ends of the church are the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness; and the exhibition of the
The Presbyterian Church in
These six statements describe a healthy church – one which realizes that not only must the Gospel be preached to all, but that the people who have responded need to be nurtured, that worship correctly done is as important as preserving the truth, that justice for God’s people cannot be ignored, and that our individual lives and our corporate actions should show the world what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.
What will follow in the next six postings is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the Great Ends of the Church, but rather my own personal feelings about aspects that particularly move me.