We’ve been enjoying some really fine presentations at our gathering! Here are some files from some of them:
- Donna Field’s presentation on Medical Ethics and the Heidelberg Catechism
- Al Janssen’s Transformed and Transforming: Some Theological Reflections
- Al’s Apostolicity, Ministry and the Reformed Church in America
- Passaic Valley Commissioned Pastor Policy
- P-V Mentoring Commission Report on Commissioned Pastors
- P-V Care Of Students Commission Report on Commissioned Pastors
- Angie Mabry-Nauta’s blog
And some books referenced or promoted:
- Lynn Japinga’s Loyalty and Loss
- Jaco Hamman’s When Steeples Cry
- John Bell’s The Singing Thing
- Paul Westermeyer’s The Heart of the Matter: Church Music as Praise, Prayer, Proclamation, Story, and Gift
Here’s a nice photo of all but two of the great women who participated in this gathering:
As previously announced, our next gathering will be May 6-8, in Ossining, NY. And it’s going to be a great one! Continuing something we’ve done for the last few meetings, we’ll have some special guest speakers. I want to make special note of two of them:
Dr. Lynn Japinga, professor of church history at Hope College, will talk with us about the recent history of the RCA. Her excellent recent book on this subject is Loyalty and Loss: The Reformed Church in America, 1945-1994. Get it and read it!
Rev. Angie Mabry-Nauta will speak about the recent closure of the Reformed Church in Plano, the last of the RCA congregations in Texas. Her article on this sad event was recently published by Christianity Today online. You can find it here:
These guests will be with us for the second half of the gathering, Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.
In addition, we’re expecting discussions about General Synods past and imminent, RCA commissions, apostolicity in the RCA, medical ethics, and commissioned pastors. And of course, we’ll worship, feast, relax, laugh, and vent together.
There are four registration options:
Stay for the whole event (includes 5 meals): $190
Stay for one night (includes 3 meals): $105
Attend one day, no lodging (includes 2 meals): $45
Basic registratation (no meals or lodging): $15
So, please check your calendars, ask permission (or forgiveness) from your loved ones, bribe your pets, and resolve to attend at least some of this gathering. And once you do so resolve (ideally, very soon), send an email to email@example.com and let me know when you will be attending and what registration option you are choosing.
Finally, if you know of people not typically tied into CI endeavors who would be interested in some of this event, please pass this information on to them.
We have changed the date of the gathering in May. It will now start one day earlier than previously announced. It will now begin on Tuesday, May 6 at 2:00 and conclude Thursday morning, May 8. The meeting will be held at our usual location, the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining, NY. I hope you can make it for at least some of the gathering.
If you check out the account of my presentation to the CI gathering this past October, you will notice mention of my concern that the hymnody of the Reformed Church in America, including texts by the Livingstons, George Washington Bethune, Denis Wortman, and Daniel Meeter, may not survive into the next generation. There is very little of it in Lift Up Your Hearts, our new denominational hymnal, and even less in other books. While much is available in older sources and/or on-line, most worship planners do not tend to look beyond the hymnal in their pews. A generation from now, people may not know there ever was a “Searcher and Savior of my soul.” In two generations, “God of the prophets” (especially in its original form) may just be a memory.
If you cannot guess where I am going, read the title of this post. Would it be wise to create a repository of hymnody of the RCA, collecting it somewhere where people could see it and learn from it and maybe make use of bits from time to time (including many hymns that bring a perspective on unique RCA theological perspectives)? If so, what sort of media would we use?
I could see, wherever it would be, some short biographical sketches, along with a bit of analysis of the texts (I am starting to contemplate possible sabbatical projects).
Or would it be best to let theological evolution take its course, and to allow all of this to slip away for a millenia or three?
he minutes from our last gathering of CI signatories and others is below. Signatories interested in the much less tidy and occasionally more interesting journal of the meeting may contact me.
There will be a slight change in the dates of next two meetings of the Chicago Invitation, which are held at the Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, NY.
The Spring meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 7th at 2pm through Friday morning May 9 at 10am. This is two weeks earlier than our usual time.
The Fall meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 21st at 2pm through Thursday morning October 23. This is moved up one day because of Mariandale’s schedule.
I hope to see many of you there!