Note to those who don’t live in Church World: In the Presbyterian Church, the Presbytery is a geographic region of congregations (e.g. all the Presbyterian congregations in a major city and surrounding burbs) as well as a corporate bishop. Presbyteries do what a bishop does in other traditions.
When I talk with people pondering calls in churches in the Chicago area, I share with them that We Are A Good Presbytery. Honestly, it attracts good people.
Life is easier when we are surrounded by supportive systems, authentic colleagues, and friendly communities. This is not to say that there are no conflicts or crises. God knows there are.
But when I say that ours is a Good Presbytery I mean that:
- The ministry of women is not only assumed but appreciated in obvious ways.
- The ministry of GBLTQ leaders is honored and even those with whom we disagree theologically, there is respect.
- We make difficult decisions thoughtfully and with plenty of research, prayer, and time.
- We have become increasingly permission-giving. (Thank you Cindy Bolbach and nFOG.)
- Even though we lean progressive/liberal, other voices are heard.
There are obvious changes needed. Nevertheless, there is so much good which results in expanding the reign of God.
Consider this my little Sabbath love letter today. And I can’t say it enough times: we have ten pastors under the age of 35 coming this summer. Joy.