Local congregations, especially smaller congregations, are finding it more and more difficult to operate with the same institutional budgets, structures, etc. they have used in living memory. Sometimes, they believe this means they can no longer afford to do ministry, but it might just be that God, who is always with us and has called us to change before, is simply calling us to something new.
What if, together, we could explore best practices for being the church in new ways, and maybe even develop better practices. The Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary wants to partner with congregations in the Hudson Valley to see if we can create an ongoing learning community to do just that, and together discover an exciting future.
On Wednesday, September 19, from 10:00 to 2:30, the Reformed Church Center will host a Seminar in Practical Ecclesiology at the Reformed Church of New Paltz, New York. Andy Bossardet, a pastor currently serving the RCA in the areas of congregational health and leadership development, will help us reflect about what is good about our congregations and where we see God at work, even in the midst of the challenges we face. Al Janssen—a General Synod professor emeritus and a retired pastor with four decades of experience—and Renée House—pastor of Old Dutch Reformed Church in Kingston, New York—will help us reflect theologically on what all this means for us and what it can mean for us. And James Brumm, Director of the Reformed Church Center and a pastor with over a quarter century of experience in the Hudson Valley, will help us organize an ongoing working group if there is interest.
The program is free. Everybody will be asked to make a donation toward lunch, which will be provided (but we will feed everybody who comes). Everybody and anybody who cares about the life of our churches is welcome, especially ministers and elders; please contact James Brumm at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, September 14, to sign up.