For the last three days I've been participating in the PC(USA)'s Mission Celebration 2009, learning about all that our church and our partners are doing in international mission. Scroll through the blog for all my reports on plenary sessions, worship and workshops. If you have thoughts or comments, please leave them.
A few final reflections:
- The PC(USA) has become like an elderly parent. Our mission activity in the late 19th and early 20th century birthed strong Christian communities all over the world. As we struggle, we now need these communities to breath the Holy Spirit and vitality back into us.
- Some years ago a colleague in education ministry told me that the PC(USA) began going downhill when we stopped building hospitals, starting schools and birthing worshiping communities. Among our partner churches overseas, education and health care remain the bedrock of their mission and are often the starting point for evangelism. Why aren't we doing this at home?
- The PC(USA)'s mission around the world is vibrant and healthy and our partner churches are strong.
- In a globalizing world, our congregations ever more need to learn to cross cultures and engage in conversation with our neighbors.
- Theological divides do not justify negation of the great commission or great commandment.
- Here in the states, we need to resist the urge to create multiple congregations based on language and culture and strive to create communities that can bridge culture and gather everyone around Jesus Christ.
- We must relearn how to pray, testify and share our faith with each other and our neighbors.