a story about a story

April 23, 2009

I went to a conference being held at a church called the Meeting House thirty minutes from Toronto. The conference was called “The Evolving Church Amidst the Powers.” It attempted to address the fact that we are all caught up in an ongoing struggle between God’s growing Kingdom and the defeated (but still dangerous) powers of darkness. Read the rest of this entry »

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PSPC Fall Retreat 2005

February 6, 2006

The Way of Our Flesh

The Gospel is addressed not only to individuals, but also to the communities to which these individuals belong, because these individuals are what they are largely because of their life in their communities. Communities have a corporate identity. They can think and act together. If you take an individual right out of his community he becomes a different person.

Lesslie Newbigin, British missionary to India

In 1970 or thereabouts, Newbigin was invited to join a group of clergy in the Church of South India, and teach them from the Scriptures before the serving of Communion at their monthly worship services.  These talks were collected into a book, The Good Shepherd (Oxford: Mowbray, 1977), where I read the comment quoted above.  As it happens, Newbigin was talking about the Christian mission to industry in the city of Madras, but his words would have been equally at home in the middle of Park Slope Presbyterian’s first retreat.  This past fall, a few dozen of us gathered to sing songs, eat and drink, taste wines and pick apples, in the hope that God would be molding PSPC’s corporate identity as we thought and acted together. Read the rest of this entry »

here there be dragons

August 29, 2004

Some reflections on my community group – the “cell” group or whatever of people from my church. Read the rest of this entry »