The Presbyterian Outlook’s editor Jack Haberer sent an email this morning that includes the d-word. While he is actually promoting the purchase of a summary of this week’s meeting to share with congregations, he nonetheless speaks about the possibility of division.
Will the Covenanting Conference in Orlando divide the PCUSA?
If we are truthful about this question, the answer is a resounding “No” because it appears that we were divided long before January 2012.
Leslie Scanlon, the Outlook’s national reporter has written an article suggesting that even if a New Reformed Body is established, it is not very likely that many churches will immediately join. Instead as Scanlon shares, this meeting will be about individuals covenanting with one another. It is not about congregations, rather this meeting is focused on individuals joining in the covenant.
Paul Detterman, interviewed for the article, is quoted, “Regardless of affiliation, we are trying to raise up a different type of disciple. Somebody who is willing to say, ‘I’m going to take my faith so seriously…I’m going to live differently’ as a result. We are covenanting with God to live differently.”
I applaud this idea. I long to hear how it will be presented and to hear the ideas flowing from leadership and participants alike about the ways Presbyterians can covenant with God to revitalize our denomination.
If we keep our focus on this idea, maybe Jack won’t sell any bulletin inserts that talk about dividing the Presbyterian Church. Instead he will have to rewrite them to talk about how Orlando united the long divided Presbyterian Church.