Two Weeks until Pentecost

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Well, here’s the truth. The TTF is hard at work figuring out how our structure should look. We’re working on how the various entities, councils, committees, commissions that do the work of our Presbytery need to relate to one another. We’re planning the June meeting and thinking beyond to the fall meetings as well.

I could remind you about some of the last blog posts, like:

the one about needing a centralized leadership structure 

or the one about our June meeting’s keynote speaker, C. Christopher Smith 

or how about the one about how hard it is to make friends at a Presbytery meeting 

But the thing that is mostly on my mind this Sunday evening is where can I find some good stuff on the Holy Spirit since Pentecost is only two weeks away? So, here’s my top three list of things that might break me out of Pentecost-as-usual:

Interactive Prayer Station – If you haven’t found Theresa Cho yet, bookmark her site. She never disappoints in creative ways to explore our faith. This is one of many Pentecost posts she has.

the-holy-spirit-by-hammermarioVery cool image – I googled holy spirit and saw the image to the right. When I clicked to find the website that featured it, I found a site of podcasts by a bunch of folks like us. But mostly, it’s about this cool image of the dove on fire.

Age of the Spirit by Phillis Tickle – I read this a couple years back but I’m going to re-read it with the hopes of breathing new life into the filioque clause. Who’s with me?

  • What’s your idea to break out of Pentecost-as-usual? Leave us a comment below.
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. peter gregory says:

    Part of the issue in how we interpret and related to “presbytery’ in 2016 is that we approach it with different needs ,wants and expectations. A common error I have observed over the years is clergy/TEs at times assumes Presbytery is a vehicle for personal or professional contacts, fellowship, or a collegial community of mutually supportive folks. Or a place to get those interpersonal needs met. It can be for some I suppose, but by both design and intent of the polity, Presbytery is primarily a management, regulatory, administrative unit of church government. The professional of ministry, especially in a local church, can be a very isolating and lonely path. Which is why it has a very high burn out/drop out rate compared to other professions. As lawyers do not see Bar Associations as places of fellowship or even enrichment, as doctors with the AMA, so professional clergy need and require places of community, fellowship, relating that may have nothing or very little to do with their profession or placement. I have found that the more friends, associates , connections you have outside of the church or the structure of, the more healthy and balanced you are in this line of work.

    Back in the day you used to have eccumenical or interfaith local clergy associaitons in various towns and locals. Today one has the tools of social media, skype, facebook, and other associations to meet personal and professional needs for community and fellowship. In my military life you have a sense of esprit de corps, a brotherhood of the life, that transcends time and age. I can pick up a phone at 3 AM and call folks I served with in Iraq and bled with ,and they would be there for me, as I for them, no questions asked. Do I have that understanding in the Presbytery? Those relationships do not exist. I think they did for Presbyterian clergy back in a different age or era. I have always seen these proposed changes as trying to get back to that concept of a fellowship of professionals and those who have chosen this life. I wish it all the success and hopes going forward.

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  2. bethscib says:

    I’m glad you have those kinds of relationships with people from your service in Iraq. I have those kinds of relationships with several in our presbytery. I attend a weekly lectionary group. Many of us in the group have been together for 10 years. Clearly the commitment to friendship is present for those in my group. And I think it takes that kind of commitment in order for it to happen.

    My question to you and others perhaps who would say “those relationships don’t exist,” would be, do you/need relationships like this in your presbytery and what are you willing to do in order to foster them?

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  3. peter gregory says:

    In response, professional relationships require three ingredients. 1. Time and commitment to the group or persons 2. Trust and mutual accountability to the process or group. 3, A shared experience or life/vocational connections that foster communications, which builds trust over time. Also a sense of openness and ease that enables one feeling free to call that friend or contact at 3AM if need be and talk over an issue or problem in confidence. Should the first call of a clergy in trouble or crises always to be to the EP or COM? I would not always recommend that for a number of reasons practical and legal. Hence the need for clergy accountability groups, fellowship groups, therapeutic options, and relationships outside the given denominational processes or structures.

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