In this past month’s Presbyterian Outlook, there were a few words in an article that were quoted from a pastor friend of mine that caught my attention: “To dream and create stuff.”
“Tod Bolsinger, a teaching elder from California and the commission’s moderator, said the recommendation gives congregations permission “to dream and create stuff” if they form a provisional presbytery with a distinct purpose for mission. The recommendation gives those wanting to form non-geographic presbyteries a window of six or seven years to show the advantages for mission such flexibility would provide, said Vest, the pastor from Chicago. He said of those seeking such flexibility: “You’ve got until Dec. 31, 2021, to prove it works better.”
Must be honest. The whole PCUSA ECO FOP thing right now has been the last thing on my mind. Don’t get me wrong. I do honestly care about what’s happening. I simply haven’t had a whole lot of time over the last several months to pay attention. I know just a little. Mostly from what I’ve read or watched. I feel like I’ve been stuck in the trenches and until recently I haven’t seen a whole lot of light because of some presbytery stuff that was keeping me busy. Now that I’m at a better place I’m ready to ponder, pray, and reflect on what’s going on.
Honestly? I don’t know if I’m ready to do anything yet. I do know I want to be part of something. I want to be with folks who do care about doing something. It’s just trying to figure out what that something is?
What’s weird is that it feels like my family is breaking up and what’s really weird is that I’m totally doing the transference thing in regards to my own weird family system from when I was a kid. It’s tough to sit back and watch the family you were literally raised in talk about splitting up. Especially given the fact that this is the denomination where I came to know Jesus in. The reality is that I knew it was coming.
I love what the article implies though. What if we were given the freedom to dream and create stuff? What if we were given the green light to do things differently as a presbytery when it comes to the mission of God in the world?
I know there was a lot more to what Tod and the commission folks were trying to say. What I do know is that as a small church pastor trying to help my church discern its future in all of this, I need all that I can get when it comes to ideas. “To dream and create stuff,” is something that I can cast as a leader. It’s something I can call upon the people of God to be part of and to experience. It’s an opportunity to say that, “to simply die is not an option for us as a church.”
What I’m hoping that’s happening in the land of Presbyterianism is this. I want people to start falling in love again with their cities and their neighborhoods and to start having a heart for the lost. This is my hope and prayer. Even if it means that some of the dreams we might dream might change the way we’ve always done things in the church.
So, here’s to the “dreamers and creators of stuff” and here’s to the spirit filled possibility that we might simply just turn around whether we’re part of a denomination or a new group of folks just trying to simply do what Jesus calls us to do as people of the new commandment.
Now back to the trenches.