Confessing through the Crisis – Week 4 – The Belhar Confession

The Belhar Confession (1986, adopted 2016)

The Belhar Confession is the most recent entry in our Presbyterian Book of Confessions.  Originally penned in 1986, it was approved by the PC(USA) in 2016.  In short, the Belhar Confession is a statement of faith that emerged in the context of the system of Apartheid in South Africa. It was formulated by Reformed Christians as a statement of biblically-informed conscience in opposition to racial and ethnic separation in the society and the church. Belhar is the name of the location where it was first adopted, a region of Cape Town, South Africa.

[Check out my Summer 2015 posts on the Belhar Confession for more detailed information on this confession that is relatively new to American Christians.]

The Belhar Confession is a unique statement of faith from a particular time and place that has relevance for Christian living in all times and places.  It applies God’s wisdom in scripture to the issues of today, in particular the issue of racial/ethnic unity and justice in church and society.   One could go so far as to say that God may have brought us the Belhar Confession “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:24), considering that it speaks directly to the issue of racial justice.

Belhar is written in three parts, each with a major theme as its focus: 1) Unity, 2) Reconciliation, & 3) Justice.  For our purposes of confessing through the current crisis of racial justice in our society, we’ll be focusing on the third section.  Justice is the theme, and its affirmations are anchored deep in the soil of scripture.  Belhar turns our attention back to the Bible to discover God’s concern for justice: 1) God cares about justice, 2) God calls us to stand with those who suffer injustice, 3) God calls us to reject ideologies that lead us astray, & 4) God calls us to take a stand even if we suffer for it.

God cares about justice

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations … In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth…”  Isaiah 42: 1, 3-4

The Belhar Confession boldly claims “We Believe that God” cares about justice and works to bring it into the world.  Each statement of belief in the first part of this section begins with God.  Here are a few highlights:

  • God has revealed God’s self as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people;
  • God, in a world full of injustice and enmity, is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged;
  • God calls the church to follow God in this; for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry;
  • God supports the downtrodden, protects the stranger, helps orphans and widows and blocks the path of the ungodly;
  • God wishes to teach the church to do what is good and to seek the right;

Read: Isaiah 42:1-7; Luke 6:20-26; Luke 4:16-19; Psalm 146; Micah 6:8

Questions:

  1. How important is God’s concern for justice in your Christian world view?
  2. How might you relate other common features of the faith – such as sin, salvation, forgiveness, creation, redemption, etc. – to the biblical theme of God’s concern for justice?
  3. How does the issue of racial justice in society (and in particular the issue of just treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement) fit into the picture of God’s concern for justice?

 

God’s people are called to stand with those who suffer

“God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”: “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?  Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 82:1-4

The confession challenges the church to stand.  To “stand by people in any form of suffering and need,” and to stand “where the Lord stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged.”  The church is called to “witness against the powerful and privileged of society who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control or harm others.”

Questions:

  1. Who might God be calling you to stand with in relation to the issue of racial justice in our society?  How might you demonstrate this “with-ness?”
  2. Which is more difficult for you: standing with someone who is suffering or standing against the cause of the suffering?  Why?

 

God’s people are called to reject attempts to legitimate injustice

This one hits home.  The church in South Africa bought into an ideology that legitimated racism, and this form of injustice was reinforced by the church.  It’s important to note that the church didn’t get racism from God’s word; they imported it from the reigning ideology in their culture.  God’s people are called to reject these non-scriptural ideologies in favor of God’s revealed will.  Easier said than done, as history proves.

Questions:

  1. What is one example of an idea or a practice in the American church that comes more from the culture than from God’s will as expressed in scripture?
  2. Has God ever confronted you about “buying into” a philosophy or ideology that was keeping you from living according to His will?  If so, how did you come to this realization, and what did you have to do to make a change?

 

The Church is called to confess God’s justice “even though” it costs them

“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!’”  Acts 5:29

“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”  1 Peter 3:17-18

Picking up on the language of Lordship that we discovered in the Barmen Declaration, the final paragraph of Belhar speaks of courageous obedience to Jesus Christ, even if this obedience brings punishment from unjust authorities or the consequence of suffering for doing what is right.  Read this as a capstone to our four week experience of “Confessing through the Crisis:”

“We believe that, in obedience to Jesus Christ, its only head, the church is called to confess and to do all these things, even though the authorities and human laws might forbid them and punishment and suffering be the consequence.  Jesus is Lord.  To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honor and the glory for ever and ever.”

Questions:

  1. How do you see people suffering for doing what is right in seeking racial justice?
  2. Have you ever suffered because you stepped out in faithfulness to what God called you to do?  If so, what impact has it had on your relationship with God and your view of His work in your life?
  3. What does it mean to you that Jesus is Lord in relation to the issue of racial justice in our contemporary society?

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To find resources on Learning & Living Racial Justice, click here.

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Confessing through the Crisis – Week 3 – The Confession of 1967

The Confession of 1967 (1967)

The Confession of 1967 was forged in the midst of the struggle for civil rights in the United States in the decade of the 1960s.  Throughout this decade issues of justice rose to the surface.  Images of injustice and responding protests dominated newspaper and magazine headlines and entered into living rooms during nightly newscasts.  Some church members found themselves on the front lines of protesting, others on the side of resisting change.  Some congregations became involved in the struggle in their communities, while others operated as if it were a distant (or minor) problem.  Throughout the denomination, many became convinced that the church needed to speak into this societal situation.  The result is the Confession of 1967.  For our discussion, we’ll focus on the portion of the confession that has to do with ethics – what we are called to do based on what we believe.  For this confession, Christian ethics are based on the core belief that God has reconciled the world to himself in and through Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the church should continue this ministry of reconciliation in the midst of human society.

God’s Mission: Reconciliation

The Confession of 1967 contends that the mission of the church includes the task of reconciliation.  But it really goes beyond this to say that the mission of the church is reconciliation.  If we take 2 Corinthians 5:19 seriously (“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ”), it makes a lot of sense.  The gospel is all about reconciliation: it starts with God and extends to involve us.  God is making an intervention into a problem situation in order to bring healing.  The problem is “enmities which separate people from God and each other;” the intervention is the activity of healing these fractured relationships.  The Confession offers three important traits of the mission of reconciliation:

  • It starts with God – “To be reconciled to God is to be sent into the world as his reconciling community”
  • It is demonstrated in the Christian community’s life together – “Sent into the world as God’s reconciling community”
  • It involves a message to be faithfully communicated – “(The church) is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation”

Q: How acquainted are you with the concept of reconciliation?  What human problems are evidence of enmity and separation that God wants to reverse?  What might God’s work of healing look like in these situations?

The Jesus Way: Following the Gospel Pattern

“The pattern for the church’s mission is the life, death, resurrection, and promised coming of Jesus Christ.”

The Confession of 1967 calls the church to engage in the work of reconciliation by following the pattern demonstrated by Jesus.  The Jesus way of reconciliation is summarized in three aspects of Jesus life that we continue to work out:

  • His service: The way that he worked selflessly for the benefit of others, feeding and healing them.  Following his pattern, we work for human well-being.
  • His suffering: In the way that he suffered, he identifies with those who suffer. Following his pattern, we suffer with the suffering.  This recalls ministering to “the least of these” in Matthew 25.
  • His crucifixion: The way that his death on the cross was God’s judgment on people’s inhumanity toward one another. Following his pattern, we look to the cross as the truth of God’s judgment on human sin

Q: What images or scenes from Jesus’ ministry come to mind when you think of his ministry of reconciliation?  What gospel accounts are the most helpful in sharing with the world that Jesus cares about the unjust treatment of African-Americans in our society?

The Real World: Particular Problems and Crisis

The Confession of 1967 articulates that there are particular problems and crises where the church is called to take action.  The mission of reconciliation is not merely an abstraction, but a way of engaging real-life situations.  It calls the church to “seek to discern the will of God and learn how to obey in these concrete situations.”

It also brings up the uncomfortable fact that the church is not immune from being a part of the problem.  It calls the church to recognize and “be humbled by its own complicity.”

Q: Why does the church shy away from applying its beliefs to “concrete situations?”  If the church were to recognize and be humbled by its own complicity in racial injustice, what would that testimony look like?

Racial Discrimination: A Pressing Issue, Then and Now

The powerful message of the Confession of 1967 for our current societal crisis is that racial discrimination is number one on its list of concrete problems in the mission of reconciliation.  The number one problem could be called the number one problem now.  Yes, this fact may offer a verdict of inaction and unfaithfulness in the church’s response to this issue in the 50 intervening years, but it might also affirm the abiding importance of racial reconciliation to human community and the mission of the church.

The Confession declares that God created us one family, and this same God – in reconciling love – overcomes barriers and breaks down racial and ethnic discrimination.  Based on that declaration, we are called to engage in two distinct ethical practices in human society:

  1. Uphold personhood – “receive and uphold one another as persons.”  Help all people come to the point where they treat each other with human dignity in all realms of interaction in society – employment, housing, education, leisure, marriage, family, church, and exercise of political rights.
  2. Work to end racial discrimination & help its victims – “The church labors for the abolition of racial discrimination, and ministers to those injured by it.” Put effort into moving the society beyond practices of racial discrimination, while also helping and bringing God’s healing to those who have been adversely impacted by this sin.

Questions:

  • As you observe or participate in current social protests, what is the message about human dignity?  What are practical ways to “uphold one another as persons” made in the image of God?
  • How might you work to end racial discrimination, in general and in the specific case of how African-Americans are treated by law enforcement?  What might churches do to “minister to those injured by” racial discrimination?

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Next Week: The Belhar Confession – giving renewed focus to the biblical call to racial justice.

To find resources on Learning & Living Racial Justice, click here.

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Confessing through the Crisis – Week 2 – The Barmen Declaration

The Theological Declaration of Barmen (1934)

The Theological Declaration of Barmen was a response to a development in the German Church during the rise of the Third Reich in Nazi Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.  The state authorities demanded the church conform to its values and support it, all in the name of German patriotism.  Most in the church fell in line, in spite of the fact that it called the church to practice exclusion in favor of Aryan ethnicity.  A minority of pastors and theologians felt they needed to take a stand and declare that what the church was doing was wrong.  They called themselves the Confessing Church, and the Barmen Declaration (as it has come to be known) was their statement of faith declaring who they would follow as their primary authority, challenging the German Christians who were conforming to the authority of the Fuhrer (leader).

Barmen is the quintessential statement of the church in relation to issues of earthly authorities imposing on the church requirements that go against its fundamental loyalties and values.  It describes a situation of “Kingdoms in Conflict” (to use the title of a book written by Charles Colson in the 1980s).  What does the church do when the earthly “Kingdom” (governing authority) we live under imposes requirements or restrictions that conflict with the basic truths of the church as an expression of the Kingdom of God?

Saying Yes Means Saying No

The Declaration is organized into a series of three-point statements of faith, each following the same outline:

  1. Words of Scripture (starting with the Word of God)
  2. Affirmation of faith for the church based upon this authoritative Word
  3. A statement of rejection based upon the authoritative Word

Before getting into the specifics of the declaration, I’d like to suggest that the way it’s organized may be one of its most important contributions to the church.  Biblical authority calls the church to say “Yes” in the form of positive statements of belief and obedient conduct.  But it also calls the church to say “No” to that which conflicts with this positive affirmation.  Important as it is, making positive affirmations causes few waves, while actually naming the thoughts and actions that are wrong in light of this truth raises the stakes – and potentially provokes angry responses.  With regard to the “original sin” of racism in the United States, the Declaration of Independence states positively that “all men are created equal,” but it didn’t go on to say that saying “yes” to this statement means saying “no” to the institution of slavery.

For the church, a current example might be the positive affirmation that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity by law enforcement.  Most people would agree with this statement.  But what happens when you follow this up with a statement claiming that certain police tactics are always in violation of this ethical value?  Pushing the logic further, what happens when you follow it up with a statement of conviction that one particular group of people bears most of the brunt of this kind of policing, and that it needs to stop?  Blood pressure rises and potential arguments and enemies emerge as you get more specific about authoritative ethical truth.

Q: In relation to Christian conviction in the midst of calls for racial justice in our society, how would you articulate a three-point statement of faith? 

    • What scriptural authority do you begin with?
    • What positive truths of faith and action do you derive from this authoritative Word?
    • What thoughts and actions that do not conform to this Word of God might you name and challenge?

 

The Lordship of Christ

Barmen Declaration, 8.10-12

8.10 1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. … I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” (John 10:1, 9.)
8.11 Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death.
8.12 We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation.

The fundamental truth of the declaration is that the church has one ultimate authority, the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ.  In the New Testament, the title “Lord” is a term of authority.  In The Message translation, Eugene Peterson renders the word as “Master.”  The most fundamental statement of belief in the church is “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.”  This is the only requirement for church membership in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  But we are often fooled by its simplicity into thinking that it is not the radical statement of allegiance that it is.  To say “Jesus Christ is my Lord” is to claim Jesus and his teachings as your authority in life, above the following cultural influences:

  • Patriotic duty & identity
  • Social conventions (or “the way we’ve always done things around here”)
  • Group identity
  • Family tradition
  • Personal preference

It’s important to note that not everything that influences who we are and how we relate to others is in direct conflict with the ethical teachings of Jesus Christ.  But when a conflict surfaces, Christians are called to conform to Christ’s authority above all.

Here’s a brief paraphrased list of Lordship affirmations in the Barmen Declaration:

  • We affirm that Jesus Christ is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death (8.11)
  • We affirm that Jesus is “God’s mighty claim upon our whole life,” who sets us free from slavery to earthly sin so we can joyfully serve the creation (8.14)
  • The church testifies in the midst of a sinful world that it is solely Jesus’ property and wants to live solely from his direction and comfort (8.17)

Here’s a list of corresponding Lordship-inspired rejections:

  • We reject the false idea that the church has an authority (events, powers, figures, truths) apart from and besides Jesus (8.12)
  • We reject the idea that there are areas of our lives that do not belong to Jesus, but belong to still other “lords” (8.15)
  • We reject the idea that the church can alter Christ’s authoritative message to please itself or prevailing ideological or political convictions (8.18)

The final affirmation/rejection set addresses the God-given role of both the state and the church.  Again, paraphrased: We affirm that God appoints the state to the task of providing for justice and peace in society even through the use of force, but we reject the idea that the state can become “the single and totalitarian order of human life” and fulfill the church’s role as well (8.22-24).

Q: What is your understanding of the Lordship of Jesus Christ?  How does it relate to the God-given role of earthly governing authorities?  What strikes you as significant in the list of “Lordship affirmations?”  What is your reaction to the corresponding rejections?

An Invitation to Repentance and Continued Growth in Faithfulness

The Reality of Misguided Believers.  Not much to say, but it needs to be said.  The Confessing Church was a small minority within the larger church.  The vast majority of church leaders and members in Germany had already conformed to the loyalty demands of Adolf Hitler.  Standing up for Christ’s ultimate authority is not always welcome in the church, especially a church that is basing its way of operating on something other than biblical authority.  This puts us in the good company of the biblical prophets, who spoke “the word of the Lord” in the midst of a people who had begun to close their ears to it.  But it also is a time to practice what we preach, praying for our sisters and brothers in Christ and seeking to invite them into deeper study and consideration of Jesus’ teaching.

Realizing that the Problem was Far Greater than Imagined.  Each and every one of us needs to remain humble and penitent.  Clarifying the true loyalty of the church is the beginning, not the end, of a learning process.  It opens the eyes of the church to see state-sponsored injustice, and gives courage for the church to stand upon conviction.  Many mistakenly assume that because this is a statement of faith forged during the rise of Nazi Germany that it addresses the issue of the Holocaust.  While the preferential status of “Aryan” (white/German/Christian) ethnicity was one emerging requirement that the Confessing Church was reacting against in the Barmen Declaration, most signers had no idea how deep the hatred for Jews was and how horrific the systematic terrorizing of Jews would become.  As time went on, the signers had to come to terms with their own complicity, something Barmen signer Martin Niemoller expressed publicly (see Niemoller’s famous quote).

We are all on the journey of following our living Lord.  We all have further to go, more to learn, greater humility to demonstrate, freshly-surfaced sins to confess.  As a concluding word, consider what it would mean to move forward individually and corporately according to the wisdom of Colossians 3:12-14:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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Next Week: The Confession of 1967, and the church’s role in joining Christ’s ministry of reconciliation in the world.

To find resources on Learning & Living Racial Justice, click here.

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Confessing through the Crisis – Week 1 – The Scots Confession

(The week 2 post on the Barmen Declaration will be posted by noon Saturday, June 13)

The Scots Confession, Chapter 14

You might be asking – what do Presbyterian theological statements (in our tradition often called “Confessions”) have to do with a time of crisis and conflict like the one we find ourselves in right now?  A brief and honest answer: “A lot.”  Most of our confessions of Christian belief were forged in the crucible of crisis and public conflict.  After all, our tradition began in the midst of public – and costly – protest.  We are “Protest-ants,” and the legacy of the original protest of unjust religious authority in the church continues to give us a particular way of interpreting God’s Word and applying its truth to our times.

I’ve selected four confessions, each forged in the crucible of crisis.  We begin with the Scots Confession, perhaps the most truly representative of our tradition, since both our beliefs and our politics (polity, governance) stem from this theological root.  Primarily authored by John Knox, it sets forth the understanding of the Christian faith according to those who followed the teaching of the Swiss reformer John Calvin.  Knox himself paid the price of public protest, in his early years of ministry being arrested by the French government and ordered to serve as a galley slave during his imprisonment.  The crisis of the Scottish Reformation involved conflict between the civil government and the church.  This resulted in a major emphasis in the Scots Confession of elevating the truth of the Word of God above earthly rulers and authorities.  It’s fair to say that this move was the foundational shift in belief about the social order that paved the way for representative democracy as a form of governance in both church and society.

Chapter 14 is titled “The Works Which Are Counted Good Before God.”  Here is where all people are called to live in society according to the Word of God.  Failing to follow the law of God is sin and, therefore, under condemnation.  The truly revolutionary concept in this chapter is that both citizens and those in God-given authority over them are called to live by the same moral standard.  In reading this chapter, be sure to notice these statements: “…to obey their (civil authorities) orders if they are not contrary to the commands of God” and “(don’t) disobey or resist any whom God has placed in authority, so long as they do not exceed the bounds of their office.”  These statements qualify the biblical injunction to honor earthly authorities by placing earthly authorities as being “above the public, yet also under God” (my phrase).  Our theological legacy is one in which we believe that God’s people should honor governmental authority but also have the right & responsibility to protest against ungodly practices of governmental authority.

  • Q: Is this a concept that you are familiar with?  The church is often told to stick to matters of faith and stay out of social issues – what does the Scots Confession have to say to this?  How about you? 

But what are godly and ungodly practices?  What are the ethics of the Christian faith when it comes to how we relate to one another in human society?  Here the Scots Confession mirrors the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ teaching about God’s law in identifying two domains of God’s requirements of us.  One domain is our relationship with God; the other domain is how we treat our neighbor.  Here is a sampling of phrases for each of these domains that may be relevant to our current crisis:

Honor God

  • “worship and honor God”
  • “call upon God in all our troubles”
  • “hear his Word and believe it”

In such a time as this, we need to remember and honor God above all.  In the troubles we are experiencing personally and the turmoil our society is experiencing in our streets, we are encouraged to call upon God.  This is a time for fervent prayer.  But it is also a time to listen to God, seeking to hear his Word aright and let it form our convictions.

Profit Our Neighbor

  • “Honor those in authority by loving them, supporting them, and obeying their orders if not contrary to God’s commands”
  • “Save the lives of the innocent”
  • “Repress tyranny”
  • “Defend the oppressed”
  • “Live in soberness and temperance”
  • “Deal justly with all men in word and deed”
  • “Repress any desire to harm our neighbor”

In these times we are called to protect the lives of the innocent, defend those who are oppressed, and stand for justice in human relationships.  At the same time, we are called to respect and conform to the just laws of the land.  We need to honor laws against violence and damaging property.  Rioting and looting are wrong, and we can stand up for that conviction and pray that God would turn the hearts of the violent toward lawful and peaceful actions.  Peaceful protestors standing up for the oppressed should honor – not harm – police who are there to protect and preserve the public well-being.

However, because those in authority are called to the same moral standard, police should not operate in a manner contrary to God’s law.  They should be just as committed to “saving the lives of the innocent,” “defending the oppressed,” and “dealing justly with all people in word and deed” as the citizens under their authority.

  • Q: What does it look like when police are doing as God commands?  What does it look like when they dishonor God by doing the opposite?
  • Q: What does it look like when protestors – peaceful or otherwise – do as God commands?  What does it look like when they dishonor God by doing the opposite?

Special Focus: “Repress tyranny…(and) any desire to harm our neighbor”

Both authorities and citizens have a God-given call to repress sinful actions, both on a personal and societal level.  Repression is not a word most of us use today, since it has come to mean something unhealthy in the eyes of the field of psychology.  But in its pre-Freudian sense to repress simply means to control with willful force.  Here it is applied to two things: tyranny and the desire to harm our neighbor.  Each citizen should control their emotions and actions so that they do not harm their neighbor.  Those in positions of authority should do the same.  Both citizens and those in public authority should stand against tyranny, which may be defined as “the cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.”  It seems that this is very much what is at issue right now in the protests sweeping our nation.  In concluding our reflections on the Scots Confession, consider this question:

  • Q: How might police brutality in general be considered “tyranny?”  How about the perception of racially unjust police actions that many are protesting?  How might citizens – and those in authority – seek to “repress tyranny” while also honoring those in authority in this particular case?

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Next Week: The Theological Declaration of Barmen, and the elevation of Jesus Christ as Lord over all things.

To find resources on Learning & Living Racial Justice, click here.

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Racial Justice & Social Unrest

For the month of June, I’ll be offering weekly posts on my blog, looking at excerpts from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Confessions and applying them to the current situation of social unrest due to racial injustice.

Download this document to follow along with the readings, and print it out if you’d like to write down your own reflections.

The PC(USA) Book of Confessions may be found here.

Confessing through the Crisis

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Pieter Bruegel’s “Census at Bethlehem”

Here is a BBC feature on Pieter Bruegel’s painting “The Census at Bethlehem”

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5. Nurturing Generous Donors

Week 5 of 6

Today we discussed working with donors/givers, and how we can come alongside them to listen to their story of generosity and help them further their hopes and dreams.  

For those participating in the VIDEO track, here’s the link (You’ll need the password I provide to you through email).  NOTE: The video picks up about 10 minutes into the presentation because of a software issue (my apologies).  Click here for the full PowerPoint presentation: Nurturing Generous Donors

northcreekpres.org/adults-families/generosity-video

For commuters & exercisers, here’s the Week 5 Audio – Nurturing Generous Donors

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4. Guiding the Spirituality of Fundraising

Week 4 of 6

Today we discussed the spirituality of fundraising, encouraged by Henri Nouwen’s thoughts on the ministry of fundraising.  

For those participating in the VIDEO track, here’s the link (You’ll need the password I provide to you through email):

northcreekpres.org/adults-families/generosity-video

For commuters & exercisers, here’s the Week 4 Audio – Guiding the Spirituality of Fundraising

Click here for the full PowerPoint presentation: Guiding the Spirituality of Fundraising – Session 4

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3. Shaping a Theology of Money

Week 3 of 6

Today we discussed the biblical and theological dimension of money, which shapes how we talk about it in the church.  

For those participating in the VIDEO track, here’s the link (You’ll need the password I provide to you through email):

northcreekpres.org/adults-families/generosity-video

For commuters & exercisers, here’s the Week 3 Audio – Shaping a Theology of Money

Click here for the full PowerPoint presentation: Shaping a Theology of Money 3

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2. Creating Shared Vision

Week 2 of 6

Today we continued talking about nurturing generosity in the congregation, specifically about how to make it happen.  

For those participating in the VIDEO track, here’s the link (You’ll need the password I provide to you through email):

northcreekpres.org/adults-families/generosity-video

For commuters & exercisers, here’s the Week 2 Audio – Creating Shared Vision

Click here for the full PowerPoint presentation: Creating shared vision presentation 2

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