Community

NJ Missional Structures: The Right Container

By Carl Wilton

During the years when I was growing up, we had a number of cars in our family. Big cars, little cars, new cars, old cars — they came and went, according to the fortunes of my dad’s business and my mother’s teaching salary. We were a suburban family in the Sixties, which meant there was often one common denominator amongst all those vehicles that ever occupied our driveway: the station wagon.

For Such a Time as This: An Invitation to Come to the Table 2019

By Amaury Tañón-Santos

The third installment of Come to the Table is scheduled for November 8-9, 2019 at the Stony Point Center in Stony Point, NY. The planning team is hard at work designing the experience focused on worship, joint learning – with a mission fair, and two 1½-hour-long workshop sessions on three tracks – and fellowship. The theme around which our Synod community will gather is For Such a Time as This: Change, Crisis, & Opportunity.

M&MC Highlights: From Discomfort to Discovery

by Anita Wright

When we entered the opening gathering for the May Mission & Ministries Commission meeting, we were told to bring our chairs into the inner part of the room. There we sat in a semi-circle. It created a discomfort around the room because it was not what we were used to doing. Everyone waited for the activity to begin…and you could feel the palpable tension as we waited for this activity to be over so we could return to our normal seats. Yet, it never happened. As I squelched my complaints about why this did not create a productive meeting space in which I could take notes for my reporting, I began to shift my perspective. I began to fully engage the process at hand. This was no longer an activity to be endured, but I could see the value in it.

Meet the NJ Missional Structures Working Group

While the New Jersey Missional Structures (NJMS) working group is convened and facilitated by the Synod of the Northeast, the group’s members were appointed through the moderators of each of the seven NJ presbyteries. This is an incredible group of talented, creative, and visionary people, and we are so grateful for their work to imagine a new approach to presbytery life!

Welcome to New Mission & Ministry Commission Representatives!

By Nancy Talbot

The 2019 January 25-26 Synod Mission & Ministries Commission meeting began the next two-year term for presbytery representatives. As we said farewell to some representatives at the November 2018 meeting, we welcomed at this meeting people elected for the first time to represent their presbyteries. You can see that the new members bring a wealth of experience, gifts, and talents to the Commission that will enhance the Synod’s work over the next two years.

White Privilege Conference 2019

By Nancy Talbot

The 20th White Privilege Conference (WPC) will be March 20-23 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Registration is open. Presbyterians have a 15% discount available if you select the non-profit staff rate at the beginning and use PRES2019 code at the end of registration.

M&MC Highlights: Synod Says Farewell

By Nancy Talbot

With the term cycle shift approaching with the new year, at its November 2018 meeting, the Mission & Ministries Commission (M&MC) thanked the Commission members and Synod officers who are rotating off its roles and bid them farewell. We are so grateful for their gifts, their service, and their ministry! We will miss each of them, but know that we will continue to see and hear from them in other contexts across the Synod.

Missional Structures – A Journey Into Our Future

By Harold Delhagen

One of the primary responsibilities of a Synod is to serve and care for its member presbyteries. In our New Way Forward, the manner in which this responsibility is carried out has changed significantly. Our values now call us to focus on serving rather than directing, listening rather than telling, and working from as close to our grassroots (congregations) as possible. This work is shaped by careful listening.

Over the more than five years since we have started on this New Way Forward it has become clear that most of our 22 presbyteries are struggling to find new ways to meet their own calling. Every presbytery has experienced shifts in demographics, changes or confusion in what is expected from leaders, as well as loss of membership and financial resources. Almost every presbytery has been engaged in creative experimentation in finding new ways to meet this sea change.

As our Synod Mission Team works among our presbyteries, it became clear that we are at a Kairos moment.

2018 Synod Assembly Highlights: Special Guests

In addition to great fellowship and conversations among Commissioners, Young Adult Advisory Delegates (YAADs), and Observers, the Synod Assembly also had the privilege of welcoming some special guests as well…

2018 Synod Assembly Highlights: A Confession for Such A Time As This

By Nancy Talbot

The 2018 Synod Assembly was organized by a “worshipful work” approach to our business and conversations. As we moved through the different elements of the meeting, each corresponded with an aspect of the Reformed order of worship, which helped to ground us in our spiritual identity and to remind us of our ultimate purpose of honoring God.

One of the main highlights of the Assembly was a confessional statement that was written and presented by a group of young ministry leaders called “A Confession for Such a Time as This.”