Monday, June 05, 2006

Presbyterian Global Fellowship organized; mission focus

Presbyterian Global Fellowship organized; mission focus:
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"Saying that Presbyterians should turn their attention away from denominational struggles and back out towards the world, a group of more than a dozen congregations are announcing the creation of the Presbyterian Global Fellowship ( .

While the exact shape of the endeavor is still being formulated, the new fellowship is intended to connect Presbyterian congregations in pursuing mission work and to encourage them to support the work they consider vital through designated, targeted giving.

Its organizers – who have been praying and talking about this for the last several months – include Michael Walker, executive director of Presbyterians for Renewal; D. Scott Weimer, senior pastor of North Avenue Presbyterian church in Atlanta; and Vic Pentz, senior pastor of Peachtree Presbyterian church, also in Atlanta.

The website also states that the fellowship “will seek wisdom, support and other resources” from groups already involved in mission, such as Presbyterians for Renewal , the Outreach Foundation and Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship . ..."
I am in sympathy with the goals of this new organization, as I have been concerned for several years that the internecine fighting in the Presbyterian Church has weakened our mission in the world. I wish them well and hope they can be an effective means of shifting our attention outward.

I have two concerns -- the first is that in their Frequently Asked Questions, they list their feelings on sexuality issues. I hope they don't fall into the trap of focussing in the very thing they (and I) feel is hampering our witness to the world. It might be better to simply mention it briefly, and move on.

The second concern is another FAQ regarding designated giving, and the perception of non-accountablility at the denominational level. I hope this does not extend to withholding per capita. While it may be "legal" it certainly is not being good Presbyterian citizens. There is a new Mission Work Plan that seems to address those issues in a way that not only moves away from non-accountability, but also places the responsibility for the mission of the PC(USA) at the local and regional level. Let's see how this works out over the next year.

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