October 16, 2016 – “Being the Church: Singing Together”

Introduction to the Series: In her introduction to her study resource on “Being the Church,” the Rev. Emily Bisset begins with this reflection: “Sometimes we, as the church, wonder what we can offer to our wider community – a community that is increasingly functioning without the church as a significant influence. As a denomination, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has been reformulating a common mission and vision statement with a strategic plan to move our congregations and ministries into the future. We have been asking questions: What is the church called to do? What is the church called to be? What will this look like in the communities where we live?” But reflection led Emily to a different line of questioning: “What does the church offer – what can it offer – that is not available in our communities? What essential teachings of the gospel are at work in congregational life that are not present in our communities because the teachings have been lost or contradicted? “Questions such as [these] place the emphasis on a ‘present tense’ exploration that highlights components or qualities already existing in many congregations. As a result, good news stories emerge. The church already values and tries to offer particular qualities as part of its mission and purpose. However, sometimes valued components of congregational life are endangered: taken for granted, they may be neglected; during periods of depleted resources, they may be put at risk; not having been named and recognized, their contribution may be overlooked.” … Read more »