Key Theological Issues of Church and Society

With the space limitation of 1500 characters (that is LETTERS, not words!) we are supposed to be able to clearly articulate the “key theological issues of our church and society that are reflected in the ministry of your congregation.”  It’s impossible, yet we have to try in order to get our CIF (Church Information Form) posted to Church Leadership Connection (which I think should be called “church harmony dot com” since it’s the PCUSA’s online match-maker service).

So we’ve tried to come up with something terse yet significant, proufound yet not so much so that it frightens away prospective candidates for our Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministries position.

I’ll post our attempt here.  It reflects some musings that make sense to our congregation in suburban NE Ohio.  I wonder what YOU might identify as the key theological issues in your context of ministry.  Ok, and to be fair, think of this in terms of 1500 characters written for a CIF — that’s part of the context!

What are the key theological issues of our church and society that are reflected in the ministry of your congregation/organization?

What does it mean to be a follower of Christ in our cultural context?
Our Christian faith makes deliberate and specific claims on our lives. At the same time, the world in which we live competes for our allegiance and asserts its own claim on us. Living as faithful disciples of Jesus in the midst of these sometimes opposing influences can be difficult. Pioneer seeks to be a church in which we are aware of the multiplicity of forces calling to us, and provide a community in which living as faithful disciples is nurtured.

What does it mean to be Presbyterian in our denominational context?
In 1951 Pioneer Memorial Presbyterian Church was formed out of two non-Presbyterian congregations that united and chose to become Presbyterian. Since that time Pioneer has been active in participation and leadership in the PC(USA). With the current divisions in the denomination, Pioneer is firmly grounded in the PC(USA) and the Reformed tradition. Pioneer has learned well how to be a congregation that values differences of opinion while remaining in covenant fellowship with each other, and we value our connections with our sister congregations in the PC(USA).

What does it mean to be the Church in our world?
The Church has a unique witness in and to the world. Peace, justice, healing, reconciliation, and compassion are words taken from the lexicon of Christian faith and which, when enacted, become the foundation for the Church’s place in the world. The life and ministry of Jesus demonstrated for us how to care for those most in need. The call of Christ moves us into the world to be the incarnation of God’s love to neighbors near and far. From hands-on local mission projects to working for peace and justice in the world, Pioneer seeks to be a congregation making a difference in the world.

~ by Jeff P-D on August 27, 2008.

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