Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Wineskins Report 1 - Wed. afternoon

New Wineskins – Workshop on Understanding New Wineskins

The purpose of this workshop was to bring the participant up to speed as to what New Wineskins Initiative (NWI) has been and to answer questions that people might have.

The workshop opened with a reading of Psalm 37:1-9. POWERFUL! Read it now!

There are (as of 1:30 p.m. today) 121 endorsing congregations in the NWI, with about 65,000 members.

Observation #1: If people would have had many of their questions answered if they had taken the time to read the NWI documents on the web site.

Observation #2: NWI believes that the approval of the Peace, Unity and Purity (PUP) report is a “precipitating crisis.” (their words, not mine) This will be fleshed out in the coming days.

Observation #3: Theology ties us together à which leads to joint mission à which determines structure. This was mentioned several times.

Observation #4: NWI believes that the PCUSA is like an inverted pyramid. The top of the pyramid is the “denominational stuff” (GA meetings, staffing, committees, etc.) and the bottom of the pyramid is the local congregation. While people in Louisville would disagree, I tend to agree strongly with NWI on this point. Their vision is to invert the pyramid and have the local church (which they view as the front lines of ministry) be the most important part of the picture. Then there would be Ministry Networks, small groupings of churches (normally geographically connected). Then there would be Support Networks and finally a National Network. Their on-line documents describe these networks.

Observation #4: A strategy of “one-foot-in and one-foot-out” of the PCUSA. This strategy was briefly introduced in the workshop and will be expanded on in the days to come. It sounds as though they are advocating that NWI churches begin implementing the NWI beliefs in their congregation and that they keep one foot in the denomination. Congregations are encouraged to begin focusing on the NWI theological essentials (and they mean ESSENTIALS) and the ethical imparities and at the same time begin to form Ministry Networks.

Observation #5: 105 degrees is HOT whether it is a dry or wet heat.

My plan was to leave for home after the Friday afternoon session (we have Saturday night church). Those plans may have to change based on private information from a conversation with someone “in-the-know.”

I will comment on the evening session (it is actually the first official session) later tonight.


At 4:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this report and I look forward to others. You are providing a valuable resource for those unable to attend.

How many delegates do you estimate are attending?

BTW, did you notice that on the Kirk sign by 61st that Presbyterian is so small it is easily overlooked. The sign has been this way for years not just within the last few.

At 5:32 AM , Blogger 小小彬 said...


At 12:03 AM , Blogger 小小彬 said...



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