August 3, 2016
As I write this article, J. Herbert Nelson is enjoying his first day on the job as the new Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church, USA. I have imagined this day for a while now.
We are at our best as a Church when we imagine the wondrous things that God can do.
When Denise Anderson and I were discerning whether or not to stand as Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly, we went back and forth for several weeks trying to imagine what it might look like to serve the Church we love in this way. Sometimes I was ready to take the leap and Denise was not. Other times, she was on board but I was not. But then we started envisioning together: imagine working with a new clerk and a new vision. Imagine leading our denomination to talk about race and white privilege together. Imagine modeling a new way of serving as co-moderators. And so we leapt.
And here we are several weeks after the 222nd General Assembly still excited about the possibilities. As I wrote for my own Presbytery: Continue reading GA Reflections by Jan Edmiston
By Jan Edmiston, DMin ’01 and 222nd General Assembly Co-moderator Candidate with T. Denise Anderson
Repeat after me:
It’s not – and never again will be – about getting new members.
On the heels of Mothers’ Day, I’ve been thinking about a couple of important and unimportant things:
An historic Mother Church is counting down to a terrible anniversary in forty days.
KFC’s biggest sales day is – not kidding about this – Mothers’ Day. Lots of moms got buckets of chicken for Mothers’ Day. Continue reading Jesus Didn’t Die to Perpetuate an Institution: The Mother of All Culture Shifts
By Jan Edmiston, DMin ‘01
I was listening to Daniel Goleman on TED Radio last weekend talking about the 21st Century generation’s unique developmental journeys. He said that we are witnessing the first generation of human beings who are learning empathy, conversation and compassion via social media. Or not.
What will it look like when a whole generation learns how to make friends, engage in conversation, navigate conflict, and date primarily via social media? We all know that it’s easier to be mean and trollish on social media than it is to be mean and trollish face-to-face. What if the next generations never learn how to connect up close and personal?
Goleman says: “Emotional intelligence begins to develop in the earliest years. All the small exchanges children have with their parents, teachers, and with each other carry emotional messages.” Continue reading Stuff Church Offers (That the World Needs Right Now)
By Jan Edmiston, DMin ‘01
Picture a Bernie Sanders Democrat happily vacationing with a Donald Trump Republican. Can you see it?
There were four kids in my family of origin and we have turned out pretty well, if you ask me. But we have very different ideas about how the world should be run. Although raised by the same parents, two of us – and our spouses – self-identify as “liberals” and two of us – and our spouses – self-identity as “conservatives.”
Among the topics of conversation last week:
- “Illegal aliens”
- The heritage of Confederate flag-waving
- The notion that “pro-life” must include taking care of babies after they’re born
- The incidence of violence against women on college campuses
- “Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”
Oh, and we watched the Republican debate together last Thursday night. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Continue reading A Model for Loving our Political Enemy
By Jan Edmiston, DMin ’01
Yesterday someone said to me: We don’t trust you because we think you want to close our church. It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard that and it won’t be the last.
The truth is, though, that those churches are usually closing themselves.
That sounds really harsh and I don’t mean to be disrespectful. But congregations on the cusp of closure are often there because they’ve made choices that have risked the future of the church they love. Among those poor choices: Continue reading Closing Our Own Churches