Posts Tagged ‘downsizing’



Some of the exciting reading in preparation for General Assembly is the report from the Mid Council Commission II Report.  Doesn’t sound exciting but it is actually full of beautiful considerations and recommendations.  It begins be asserting the truth that we are not the church we have been in terms of numbers.  It was in those bygone days that we had created the structure of the Presbyterian Church USA with is current number of Synods.  Synods are those relational entities between Presbyteries and General Assembly.  Because our numbers are less, one might think that the Mid  Council Commission II Report would be recommending few Synods to conserve cost of staff and facilities.

In fact the Mid Council Commission II Report is a response to Mid Council Commission’s report at the 220th General Assembly.  That report called for an elimination of Synods in light of the numbers of Presbyterian members.  Commission II was charged with the duty of reviewing and revising the recommendation to eliminate.  What they came up with was beautiful.

Spoiler alert!  Commission II recommends that Synods be distilled to 8 from their current number of 16.  Not quite as severe as the first commission’s recommendation but not markedly different.   What is different is how they suggest that this happen.  The recommendation is that the middle of our governmental structure would begin to engage one another…Presbytery to Presbytery, Synod to Presbytery with local congregations naturally in the mix.   Through collaboration, the middle would experience an increase in metabolism.  As Presbyteries, Synods and local congregations collaborate to solve a technical challenge (our structure no longer is well suited to our membership), they begin to know one another better and begin to imagine how to  work together.  Imagination is the right warrior to arrive into battle with the adaptive challenges that face any long standing denomination trying to articulate Christ’s call to mission and ministry in a non-denominational world.

Initially, it is sad to think about downsizing.  People’s lives are affected and perhaps also a denominational morale.  But to be called to a new metabolism in our ecclesial life is exciting and exemplifies excellent committee work as we approach General Assembly.

As we run this race…may we metabolize with Grace.  Thanks Mid Council Commission II.   8 Days!


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