Dear Partners in Ministry,
Changes are happening so quickly, Iím dizzy just trying to get a handle on all of them. I just heard that they are going to quit selling CDís now, because the only people buying them are middle aged, and older! I guess that means Iím going to finally have to figure out iTunes and all that other ďinternet streamingĒ if I want to listen to music. And here I am, afraid to hit the subscribe button on my iPhone, when Iím checking out a show I missed on T.V., because I donít know if Iíll be accidentally signing up for something Iíll have to pay for!! Iíve turned into a complete dinosaur and I donít know when it happened?!
Obviously, Iíve lost my grip when it comes to understanding the rapidly changing culture around me. So, what does that say about my ability to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ or to provide leadership for congregations, the ministry of which is to make relevant to peopleís lives the good news of Godís faithful, steadfast, abiding, saving, life-transforming (life-changing!) love? What does that say about our church communities that are steeped in traditional thinking and practice and our ability to respond to the currents of change around us? What does it mean for our congregations whose populations are predominantly older? Is there hope that we can change our approach to ministry in a way that will speak to younger generations?
These questions, and more, have been on the minds of church leaders, both ordained and lay, for a long time, but now, with increasing urgency. How do we address the need for change within our congregations? How do we work together to make decisions about what things are appropriate and necessary to change - and what arenít? How do we address this unprecedented rate of cultural change in a way that is faithful to the Gospel, uses the language and tools of the world around us and helps our communities of faith deal with the discomfort of doing new things?
These questions, and more, will be the subject of a special event, sponsored by our Synodís Resource Center, which I would like to invite as many members of our PLUM congregations, as possible, to attend. (Full disclosure: I am a Board member of the Resource Center and have helped organize this event.) I know Iím not the only one whose head is spinning, trying to figure out how to get a handle on the rate at which our world is changing and what ministry tools we need to adopt, as we seek to fulfill our mission as followers of Christ. So, hereís the information for all of you who are feeling as I do, and want help navigating these chaotic currents of change for Christís sake.
Heading into Uncharted Territory
Without Google Maps:
Congregations Navigating Change
Saturday, April 14, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Berkeley Hills Lutheran Church, 517 Sangree Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Goal of the Gathering: Our communities are changing around us. Some congregations feel helpless, if not completely immobilized. Others shout, ďWeíre ready! Help us lead into this new frontier well!Ē Maybe you and your congregation fall somewhere in between. The ultimate goal of our time together is to leave the event with a specific action plan for your congregation!
The guest speaker and facilitator is The Rev. David Daubert, an ELCA pastor, consultant for faith based organizations on emergent planning for nimble ways of working in todayís world and author of The Invitational Church.
Cost is $20.00 per person or Groups of 5 only $75 which includes lunch and a copy of The Invitational Church. Deadline: April 5
PLUM members - your registration will be paid for by PLUM - just call PLUMís Administrative Assistant, Deann George (412-466-7773), by April 3 to give her your name or the names of those from your congregation who will be attending in order to register groups of 5 for the discount. She will handle registration and help arrange transportation issues, if any.
Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110 412-466-7773