“The commission will develop models that reflect the roles of middle governing bodies in our polity and the changing context of our witness in the United States and their relationships with other governing bodies.”
Welcome to the work of the Middle Governing Body Commission. We’re glad that you have joined the conversation. On this blog, at our PCUSAMGB Discussion Group on Facebook and by Twitter (#mgbcomm), our Commission is interested in engaging the broadest possible audience within the Presbyterian Church (and beyond!) in a work of discernment, discovery and collaborative experimentation.
In the original charge to us from the most recent General Assembly, these questions were posed:
} “How are (Presbyteries and Synods) best organized to be responsive both to the Spirit of Christ and the changing opportunities for discipleship? Are the structures of history the best platforms for carrying our mission into the future?”
To attempt to answer that question, our “charge” directs us to two ongoing activities:
1. “Consult with sessions, presbyteries, synods and the wider church” to
2. “Develop models” for healthy and effective functioning of middle governing bodies in our changing world and cultural context.
In the months ahead we will be conducting formal consultations with every Session, Presbytery and Synod in the denomination. Using surveys, focus groups, listening sessions and research data, we intend to gather the most wide-ranging input from across the wide spectrum of the church. In addition, we are eager to find and explore models of being middle governing bodies that are already and indeed, “responsive both to the Spirit of Christ and the changing opportunities for discipleship.”
We commit to you that together.
- We will be a listening Commission… We want to hear from as many voices as possible.
- We will be a transparent Commission…Everything we are thinking, we will share with the larger church, every question we are raising we’ll raise publicly. Everything we are learning, we’ll reflect back to the church to learn along with us.
- We will be an experimenting Commission… We are eager to learn from as many missional models of middle governing body work as we can. We are eager to explore and affirm as many thoughtful, theologically consistent and reflective models possible.
- We will be a discerning Commission…We will prayerfully and thoughtfully offer our reflections and recommendations to the broader church, both as we go and possibly through formal recommendations at the next General Assembly.
We hope that you will commit to join us in the listening, experimenting and discerning:
- Read along. Everything that we read we will make available on this website. We will link articles and Twitter feeds and posts from all over the church.
- Join the conversation. Our commission members will frequently share what we are learning. What is the church in a changing world? What structures do we need to support missional congregations and communities of discipleship today?
- Bring us the models that you want to try in your presbytery or synod and let us work with you and learn from you.
Thanks for being part of this.
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