May gathering: Special Guests!

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:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/mourning-death-of-church.html

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 chicagoinvitation@gmail.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.

Blessings,

Dan Griswold

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A Repository of RCA Hymnody?

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?

Discuss.

Forthcoming CI Gatherings

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!

Dan

Links to Resources

We’re in a really great meeting of Chicago Invitation people right now. And there have been a number of things discussed that touch on resources found online. So I am providing this running list here for the benefit of attendees and other interested parties.

Enjoy!