December 24, 2007
December 1, 2007
Paul Nixon believes that God invites every church to thrive. He believes the future of mainline Protestant traditions in America are in the hands of pastors and leaders who must immediately make some critical choices, radically reframing the way they approach their ministry tasks.
The book is about six choices every church leader - clergy and laity - can make. The choices are:
- Choosing Life over Death
- Choosing Community over Isolation
- Choosing Fun over Drudgery
- Choosing Bold over Mild
- Choosing Frontier over Fortress
- Choosing Now rather than Later
On Tuesday, November 13, the Congregational Development team of our Association of UCC Churches in Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association (SONKA), sponsored a workshop with Paul Nixon that was attended by 130 people from the UCC and several other denominations and seven members of First UCC.
We all came eager and curious about what words of wisdom Paul could bring to us. We were not disappointed.
Now our task is to bring this study to First Church.
During December and January, we will have two, possibly three small study groups that will study the principles that Paul has written about. I will be contacting church members in the next few days to put them into various study groups.
My former Association Minister, Nancy Nelson Elsenheimer, who is now Senior Co-Pastor of Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix, says this about I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church - "Every church in the 21st century needs to think of itself as a new church start."
We have just finished celebrating our 150th anniversary in Troy. The quality of our upcoming years will largely be determined by embracing - or not embracing - the principles that Paul Nixon puts forth in his book.
Let's have a new church start right now and 150 more years of ministry will look fresh, exciting, and possible!
- The Frayed Alb
November 30, 2007
Seriously, I've toyed with the idea of doing a blog for some time. One of my must reads over the past few years has been a Texas Baptist preacher named Gordon Atkinson. He has created quite a bit of notoriety for himself by writing a blog called Real Live Preacher. As he puts it - "I had this funny picture in my head of a freak-show barker shouting 'Come, and see a Real Live Preacher!'" The blog is so popular that he is published in The Christian Century, which has been required reading for me since I started seminary in the late 1970's.
Gordon talks about many things in his blog and I propose to do that too. There will be times in which I will talk about the church I am currently serving (mostly that) or have served, the United Church of Christ, my theology and the development of it over the years of thinking, about faith matters, about my understanding of how it all works out.
I won't have all the answers any more than you would expect that I would. But I will publish my thoughts, recommendations, challenges, and mostly talk about where I see Christianity, faith, the Church, culture and life intersecting with each other.
BTW, why The frayed Alb? The word alb comes from my first name and last initial, but it also comes from the name of the servant garment that I sometimes wear when I'm leading worship services. I have always preferred it to the clerical robe. The alb is more of a servant garment and the clerical robe more of an academic garment.
The frayed bit comes from the reality that we are all frayed, incomplete, works in progress, maybe a bit rough around the edges - you get the picture.
Anyway, until something better comes along, we'll go with
The frayed Alb.
I hope you enjoy the blog. Til' later.....
The Frayed Alb