The cover story for the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Presbyterians Today is about the challenge” from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders: … 1,001 new Presbyterian worshiping communities in 10 years.”
The distinction is made between “worshiping communities” and churches. The goal is to grow 1,001 worshiping communities (not necessarily churches) in the next 10 years. That’s good.
I wonder when campus ministries will be seen as worshiping communities? They are now communities which gather for worship, study, service, prayer, and fellowship. A number of campus ministry fellowship participants do not attend a church on Sunday, and will say that the weekly campus ministry fellowship meeting is their weekly “church.” When will the denomination see them as “worshiping communities” and value and celebrate them?
Some Presbyterian groups have responded to the “1001 in 10” challenge by pledging to start (in the case of Korean Presbyterian leaders) 100 new worshiping communities.
How about starting some of those 1001 new communities on college and university campuses?
As of 2009 – 2010 there are roughly:
17, 600 undergraduate colleges and universities
10, 560 PC(USA) congregations
18.5% of PC(USA) congregations are within one mile of a college or university.
Only 27% of congregations nearby a college or university reports that their congregations offer programs to students at such schools
1954 PCUSA congregations are within one mile of a college or university.
528 PCUSA congregations currently report having a college program.
Generously assuming that each congregation with a current campus ministry draws from two different institutions, the number of undergraduate institutions without a PC(USA) presence is about ( 17,600 – [528 X 2]) = 16, 544
There’s an opportunity to develop some new “worshiping communities” on the 16,000 campuses where there is no identifiable PC(USA) presence!!
There are over 1,400 PC(USA) congregations who worship within a mile of a campus and have NO campus ministry!!
Who can challenge / encourage / nurture these congregations to act?
Who will? The same leaders who challenge / nurture / encourage us all to grow “1,001 in 10”??????
Workshop Leader Bios - Katie Gordon is the Program Manager of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute and Coordinator for Campus Interfaith Resources within the Division of Inclusion & ...
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