New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:57 am

I don't want to make it sound as if I am totally isolated. This past year, I was accepted as an Associate Clergy member in the AMiA's Fellowship of St. Aidan and St. Columba, a fellowship of clergy of episcopal rank who support the goals and purpose of the AMiA and wish to be formally affiliated with the AMiA.

Also, I am exploring a similar relationship with a newly organizing fellowship of Mennonites called EVANA.

Still, I do miss belonging to a local church in which I could have face-to-face fellowship and communion, and in-person worship. I am now considering driving 2.5 hours to a Choctaw Mennonite congregation in east-central MS. At least they are communicating with me. I could probably go only once a month, but I would do that.

Thank you all for your replies.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Sandy » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:30 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Sandy, I have some questions about the experience You report from the Church with which you worked this summer.

1. Was the survey team Southern Baptist from the south?

2. Last summer how long had the new church plant been established?

3. How many members did they have last summer and how many do they have now?

4. Would you name 5 cities in the North East that you believe to be in similar a circumstance.

My team partner and I heard similar reports when we went to the South East Side of Indianapolis in the summer of 1991 for a church planting Praxis, a credit course at SBTS. We found nothing like what had been reported to the home mission board by the Indiana State Convention, when they asked for students from SBTS to do a survey. Unfortunately the more complete account of that experience which I reported on these boards disappeared with the complete archives of this site several years ago. BTW, census track info is more meaningful than is zip code areas when doing Church plating studies.

Here is a table that Google turned up for me on Religious affiliation in Pittsburgh.

Religion Pittsburgh, PA United States
Percent Religious 60.57% 48.78%
Catholic 38.44% 19.43%
LDS 0.40% 2.03%
Baptist 2.31% 9.30%
Episcopalian 0.64% 0.63%
Pentecostal 1.31% 1.87%
Lutheran 2.36% 2.33%
Methodist 4.40% 3.93%
Presbyterian 3.97% 5.51%
Jewish 1.37% 0.73%
Eastern 0.83% 0.53%


1. What difference would that make? A survey is a survey. I'm not sure where the figures you cited come from, or what the standard is for being classified as "religious." From a church planting perspective, "religious" means absolutely nothing. When a specific team of people go door to door, and ask questions aimed at finding out where people attend church, how often, and distinguish between a cultural variety of "religious affiliation" and a tighter definition that is based on involvement in a local church of some sort, the numbers change drastically. The team of six were Southern Baptist seminary students, none from the "South".

2. The newest church plant was still in the stages of being a home group/Bible study last summer. The one that sponsored it is seven years old, and has about 50 active members. The newer one began meeting for worship at Easter of this year. They started with 5 people, including the NAMB/State convention appointed church planter and his wife. They have about 20 on Sunday mornings now.

3. There are a lot of "religious affiliated" people in the inner cities of the Northeast, mostly Catholics. There is a higher percentage of "religious" among the African American population, but you know as well as I do, Ed, that most people who claim a "religious affiliation" have dropped out of their church completely, and aren't Christians in any spiritual sense of the word. And I don't think it is "proselytizing" to start churches in neighborhoods and reach people whom the churches they've dropped out of, or never really went to beyond the date of their infant baptism, don't even know they exist. And that doesn't include the congregations that still exist, but are struggling just to pay the light and heat bill. Any inner city in Pennsylvania will have similar characteristics, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the larger of the two, with places like Allentown, Erie, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre, any large inner city in New Jersey, and virtually any other large city in the Northeast. Census tract information and "religious affiliated" surveys do not ask the questions that distinguish between cultural religion and people who actually are involved in a local church. The latter are few and far between.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:03 am

Sandy Quotes Me, Ed Pettibone:

I have some questions about the experience You report from the Church with which you worked this summer.

1. Was the survey team Southern Baptist from the south?

2. Last summer how long had the new church plant been established?

3. How many members did they have last summer and how many do they have now?

4. Would you name 5 cities in the North East that you believe to be in similar a circumstance.

My team partner and I heard similar reports when we went to the South East Side of Indianapolis in the summer of 1991 for a church planting Praxis, a credit course at SBTS. We found nothing like what had been reported to the home mission board by the Indiana State Convention, when they asked for students from SBTS to do a survey. Unfortunately the more complete account of that experience which I reported on these boards disappeared with the complete archives of this site several years ago. BTW, census track info is more meaningful than is zip code areas when doing Church plating studies.

Here is a table that Google turned up for me on religious affiliation in Pittsburgh.

Religion Pittsburgh, PA United States
Percent Religious 60.57% 48.78%
Catholic 38.44% 19.43%
LDS 0.40% 2.03%
Baptist 2.31% 9.30%
Episcopalian 0.64% 0.63%
Pentecostal 1.31% 1.87%
Lutheran 2.36% 2.33%
Methodist 4.40% 3.93%
Presbyterian 3.97% 5.51%
Jewish 1.37% 0.73%
Eastern 0.83% 0.53%




Sandy replies"
"1. What difference would that make? A survey is a survey. I'm not sure where the figures you cited come from, or what the standard is for being classified as 'religious.' From a church planting perspective, 'religious' means absolutely nothing. When a specific team of people go door to door, and ask questions aimed at finding out where people attend church, how often, and distinguish between a cultural variety of 'religious affiliation' and a tighter definition that is based on involvement in a local church of some sort, the numbers change drastically. The team of six were Southern Baptist seminary students, none from the 'South'."

Ed: Sandy you know better than "A survey is a survey" and you demonstrate that when you say "When a specific team of people go door to door, and ask questions aimed at finding out where people attend church, how often, and distinguish between a cultural variety of "religious affiliation" and a tighter definition that is based on involvement in a local church of some sort, the numbers change drastically.

However when you tell me that the team doing the survey where Southern Baptist seminary students, none from the "South", It presents a red flag for this Yankee bred & born who has attended three SBC affiliated colleges and one SBC owned and operated Seminary. It also raises a whole passel of additional questions, such as what time of day was the survey made. Most inter city folk who regularly attend church are employed. At least here in the Capital Area of New York, comprised of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and dozen of small towns and villages. I I have attended a variety meetings with intercity church staff in the three cities named. I have also work in an intercity rescue mission in Louisville, Ky which is as you know a north south border city, I have also lived in Cincinnati Oh which is also a N/S border city. I have also worked in State/Federal anti poverty programs in the intercity of Indianapolis. As I have said on these board several times when the SBC poverty proofs Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Richmond, NASHVILLE, Dallas, Jackson, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Worth, Huston and a host of other southern cities I will be glad to hear and consider their methodology and critiques of northern cities.

SANDY: 2. The newest church plant was still in the stages of being a home group/Bible study last summer. The one that sponsored it is seven years old, and has about 50 active members. The newer one began meeting for worship at Easter of this year. They started with 5 people, including the NAMB/State convention appointed church planter and his wife. They have about 20 on Sunday mornings now.

Ed: The Baptist Fellowship of the North East is (made up largely) of former SBC Church planters who where sent north by the old Home Mission Board (NAMB's predecessor) during the "Takeover period" but discovered that SBC support was contingent on total support of the BF&M. Working now with CBF some of their ministries in Massachusetts, Main, New Hampshire and Connecticut are growing more than ever before Interestingly much of their support now comes from southern CBF and CBF/SBC churches where they had prior experience a couple are dully aligned with ABC-USA. I wish your friends in Pittsburgh well.

SANDY3. There are a lot of "religious affiliated" people in the inner cities of the Northeast, mostly Catholics. There is a higher percentage of "religious" among the African American population, but you know as well as I do, Ed, that most people who claim a "religious affiliation" have dropped out of their church completely, and aren't Christians in any spiritual sense of the word. And I don't think it is "proselytizing" to start churches in neighborhoods and reach people whom the churches they've dropped out of, or never really went to beyond the date of their infant baptism, don't even know they exist. And that doesn't include the congregations that still exist, but are struggling just to pay the light and heat bill. Any inner city in Pennsylvania will have similar characteristics, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the larger of the two, with places like Allentown, Erie, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre, any large inner city in New Jersey, and virtually any other large city in the Northeast. Census tract information and "religious affiliated" surveys do not ask the questions that distinguish between cultural religion and people who actually are involved in a local church. The latter are few and far between.[/quote]

Ed: First let me point out that in this thread I have not used the term proselytizing. You have a point re; the distinction between "religious affiliated" an "Active participation", but I am not sure you mean what your first two statements seems to suggest. That being (There are a lot of "religious affiliated' people in the inner cities of the Northeast, mostly Catholics, there is a higher percentage of "religious" among the African American population, but you know as well as I do, Ed, that most people who claim a "religious affiliation" have dropped out of their church completely, and aren't Christians in any spiritual sense of the word.

Yes Sandy, I saw the period after Catholics but I see no transition of thought before you start about the African American population, nor when you attempt to tell me what I know. The fact is I do not know "that most people who claim a "religious affiliation" have dropped out of their church completely", especially among African American Catholics. Many of the people with prior church experience that I encounter and who are not involved in any church feel they are not wanted in most churches and have given up on finding one where they will be accepted. I agree that the folk who are actually involved in church a local church are in many places, few and far between. Shoot, that would include some who show up most every Sunday. I also question the validity of a survey showing only two people in two zip code areas of Pittsburgh who are affiliated with a church given I do not equate "affiliated with" and "being a member of".
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:18 am

Michael Wrenn wrote:I don't want to make it sound as if I am totally isolated. This past year, I was accepted as an Associate Clergy member in the AMiA's Fellowship of St. Aidan and St. Columba, a fellowship of clergy of episcopal rank who support the goals and purpose of the AMiA and wish to be formally affiliated with the AMiA.

Also, I am exploring a similar relationship with a newly organizing fellowship of Mennonites called EVANA.

Still, I do miss belonging to a local church in which I could have face-to-face fellowship and communion, and in-person worship. I am now considering driving 2.5 hours to a Choctaw Mennonite congregation in east-central MS. At least they are communicating with me. I could probably go only once a month, but I would do that.

Thank you all for your replies.


Michael, are you still considered clergy in the "Celtic Anabaptist Communion?" If you are, don't you already have a church? Thinking about that I'm somewhat confused about the current conversation about starting churches when you are clergy in a Church already.

As a Bishop in that church why aren't you trying to start churches in your own denomination? You really couldn't be a member of a CBF church and a Bishop in another communion at the same time. At least in most churches that would be the case.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:35 am

Also Michael, if the address you give to send in membership forms for your church is your address then the population of your community is under 100 people. How many churches do you think there should be in a community of 100 people? How many viable churches can you have with 100 people?
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Sandy » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:24 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Yes Sandy, I saw the period after Catholics but I see no transition of thought before you start about the African American population, nor when you attempt to tell me what I know. The fact is I do not know "that most people who claim a "religious affiliation" have dropped out of their church completely", especially among African American Catholics. Many of the people with prior church experience that I encounter and who are not involved in any church feel they are not wanted in most churches and have given up on finding one where they will be accepted. I agree that the folk who are actually involved in church a local church are in many places, few and far between. Shoot, that would include some who show up most every Sunday. I also question the validity of a survey showing only two people in two zip code areas of Pittsburgh who are affiliated with a church given I do not equate "affiliated with" and "being a member of".


The percentages of "religious affiliated in any general survey you can find, or census tract information, will not even really tell you how many people you will find from any given neighborhood who are in church on any particular Sunday. The membership reports of the Pittsburgh diocese would not even support the claim that 38% of the population is Catholic. The percentage of African Americans who are "affiliated" is higher, and at least in this area, among church planters, that is taken into consideration when siting new church plants.

I know what you're getting at when it comes to wanting a definition of who conducted the survey, what denomination they were from, and where they were from. There's always an underlying accusation of "proselytizing" when it comes to Southern Baptist church planting efforts outside Dixieland. In some places, that may be the case, I don't know. They're certainly not stepping on any toes here. I couldn't care less about a survey that shows "religious affiliated". I don't consider it "proselytizing" if a church planter moves into an area where the few remaining established churches are in survival mode, and there's little if any evangelistic activity going on. And I don't believe in "turf protecting" either. If a church planter from the SBC comes into an area in a city that has been identified as having a low population of Christians, and few active, viable churches, then it is better for the local population if they go to work, rather than waiting for the "traditional" denominations to get around to it. In partnership with NAMB, the state convention here has just three church plant coordinators in an area with 16 million people that includes all of Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey. I don't see any place where the SBC church plant work is stepping on anyone else's toes, or proselyting anyone else's members. The cities, particularly the inner city areas, are teeming with people, and almost vacant of churches of any kind. And that's where the baptisms numbers are highest. There's be plenty of opportunity for any denomination that wanted to invest in church planting here.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:19 pm

Sandy wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote:Yes Sandy, I saw the period after Catholics but I see no transition of thought before you start about the African American population, nor when you attempt to tell me what I know. The fact is I do not know "that most people who claim a "religious affiliation" have dropped out of their church completely", especially among African American Catholics. Many of the people with prior church experience that I encounter and who are not involved in any church feel they are not wanted in most churches and have given up on finding one where they will be accepted. I agree that the folk who are actually involved in church a local church are in many places, few and far between. Shoot, that would include some who show up most every Sunday. I also question the validity of a survey showing only two people in two zip code areas of Pittsburgh who are affiliated with a church given I do not equate "affiliated with" and "being a member of".


The percentages of "religious affiliated in any general survey you can find, or census tract information, will not even really tell you how many people you will find from any given neighborhood who are in church on any particular Sunday. The membership reports of the Pittsburgh diocese would not even support the claim that 38% of the population is Catholic. The percentage of African Americans who are "affiliated" is higher, and at least in this area, among church planters, that is taken into consideration when siting new church plants.

I know what you're getting at when it comes to wanting a definition of who conducted the survey, what denomination they were from, and where they were from. There's always an underlying accusation of "proselytizing" when it comes to Southern Baptist church planting efforts outside Dixieland. In some places, that may be the case, I don't know. They're certainly not stepping on any toes here. I couldn't care less about a survey that shows "religious affiliated". I don't consider it "proselytizing" if a church planter moves into an area where the few remaining established churches are in survival mode, and there's little if any evangelistic activity going on. And I don't believe in "turf protecting" either. If a church planter from the SBC comes into an area in a city that has been identified as having a low population of Christians, and few active, viable churches, then it is better for the local population if they go to work, rather than waiting for the "traditional" denominations to get around to it. In partnership with NAMB, the state convention here has just three church plant coordinators in an area with 16 million people that includes all of Pennsylvania and the southern half of New Jersey. I don't see any place where the SBC church plant work is stepping on anyone else's toes, or proselyting anyone else's members. The cities, particularly the inner city areas, are teeming with people, and almost vacant of churches of any kind. And that's where the baptisms numbers are highest. There's be plenty of opportunity for any denomination that wanted to invest in church planting here.


Ed: Sandy You are tilting at windmills when you come up with stuff like "The percentages of "religious affiliated in any general survey you can find, or census tract information, will not even really tell you how many people you will find from any given neighborhood who are in church on any particular Sunday ", no one has suggested such.

And if my source is incorrect about the percentage of Pittsburgh residents who claim a Catholic affiliation being 38% and you believe the "The membership reports of the Pittsburgh diocese would not even support 38% why don't you give us a percentage figure they would support. I think you are blowing smoke.

And when you claim to know what I am getting at and then say, "There's always an underlying accusation of 'proselytizing' when it comes to Southern Baptist church planting efforts outside Dixieland", when I have pointed out that "I have not used the term proselytizing" in this thread. I think you are all wet. What I am getting at I know from three + decades of being a Southern Baptist in both the South and the North. Having been a charter member of a So. Baptist Church in Fort Wayne Indiana, and having done a church planing Praxis in Jefferson county Indiana in 1991 as a student at SBTS. Plus knowing several folk who have years of SBC church planting experience in New England, NY and NJ under SBC auspices and Having now lived in the NY state as an American Baptist and participating in the BFNE for 14 years I simply do not believe either yours or NAMB's promotional hype is accurate.

I do have some hope that Ed Setzer has awaken and smelled the coffee. If so my question is, can he bring the Convention along?
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Re: New CBF leader says,''Let's start some churches.'

Postby Sandy » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Your rant is an indication I hit the nail on the head. You're bent out of shape because the SBC is on your turf. Bottom line.
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Re: New CBF leader says,''Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:29 pm

Sandy wrote:Your rant is an indication I hit the nail on the head. You're bent out of shape because the SBC is on your turf. Bottom line.


The problem for me Sandy is that, whatever the SBC says officially, I've known more than one SBC pastor who would tell Methodists, Presbyterians and even American Baptists that they don't attend a "real" Christian church.

And for those of us who baptize infants, its really heart warming (actually indigestion making) when someone puts up a new SBC (or other similar evangelical) church in an area and starts trying to get our members to come to their church to get a "real" baptism.

I know the reason always is given that you don't go after "active" members. But note that you decide who is active by your definition rather than those persons in another denomination deciding who is active by the definition of their own denomination.

When I was an American Baptist I signed a ministerial ethics covenant that I'd not proselytize from other Christian churches. Would that SBC pastors would take similar vows. (And other Christians that poach someone else's members.)
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Re: New CBF leader says,''Let's start some churches.'

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:15 am

Sandy wrote:Your rant is an indication I hit the nail on the head. You're bent out of shape because the SBC is on your turf. Bottom line.


Ed: And you are Practicing psycho-analysis w/o a license. In the first place I have no turf it is all God's. We love NY but when Trudy retires we will reside somewhere with significantly lower taxes. There is one rather successful SBC church in this area about 3.25 miles down the road and it was established long before Trudy and I came to Upstate NY, however the ABC church where she is pastor has been here since 1785. There is also a strong GARB church with in 2 miles and a Reformed Baptist church a mile the other way There are 27 ABC-USA Churches in the the Capital Area Baptist (CABA) Association. Some of them are struggling due in large part to 2 decades of out migration. There are others that have survived quite well. Our Association Moderator and a couple churches with assistance from the association and the region are propping up an intercity church in Troy that was historically part of another baptist communion but for many years has been open and closed but in the last year has inquired about becoming apart of our association. One of our strongest Churches is an African American church in the intercity of Schenectady. One of their Trustees is the Associational treasure. He just retired last year form a professorship in Public Health at the Albany Medical Center. He is one of the most informed people I have ever met as to the physical, mental, economic & spiritual needs of intercity communities.

We have 3 other predominately black churches. We also have one church that is all Caucasian with the exception of their pastor who is a Black retired NYC police officer. He is pretty well versed on the inter city also, that is a reason he is content to pastor a country church. BTW he is the immediate past moderator of the Association. This year we (I am on the Advisory Board of the Association as chair of the Lay Studies Program) where privileged to Have a Burmese Church affiliate with us. We have another Burmese church, with which we are in the initial talking stage.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:56 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Also Michael, if the address you give to send in membership forms for your church is your address then the population of your community is under 100 people. How many churches do you think there should be in a community of 100 people? How many viable churches can you have with 100 people?


That's my address; it's not the town I live closest to. That community encompasses a lot of people in the surrounding countryside.

I'm glad Wesley and Asbury didn't have your attitude. You might not have a job right now.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:14 pm

I don't understand your insistance that Methodists would have planted societies (that's what was planted not churches at that time) in areas with few if any people that were not showing signs of population growth or at least stability. You keep insisting that the Methodists did something they didn't do.

As to my job, I'm appointed to an urban congregation in a transitional middle and lower middle class area in a city with a population of 80,000 and a community of over 120,000. My appointment isn't dependent on finding creative ways to start a church with almost no people.

Again, the goal is to lead people to Jesus Christ, not provide every flavor of church in a given area only to have that church fail because there won't be enough members to sustain it.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:18 pm

Michael, you still haven't said why you don't start a church that you currently claim to be a Bishop in. I don't quite get why a Bishop in Church A would be encouraging church planting from denomination B. If you are a Bishop, take your authority as a Bishop and start a church. Why ask someone else's Bishop to do what you aren't doing?
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Re: New CBF leader says,''Let's start some churches.'

Postby Sandy » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:11 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:Your rant is an indication I hit the nail on the head. You're bent out of shape because the SBC is on your turf. Bottom line.


The problem for me Sandy is that, whatever the SBC says officially, I've known more than one SBC pastor who would tell Methodists, Presbyterians and even American Baptists that they don't attend a "real" Christian church.

And for those of us who baptize infants, its really heart warming (actually indigestion making) when someone puts up a new SBC (or other similar evangelical) church in an area and starts trying to get our members to come to their church to get a "real" baptism.

I know the reason always is given that you don't go after "active" members. But note that you decide who is active by your definition rather than those persons in another denomination deciding who is active by the definition of their own denomination.

When I was an American Baptist I signed a ministerial ethics covenant that I'd not proselytize from other Christian churches. Would that SBC pastors would take similar vows. (And other Christians that poach someone else's members.)


I can't really speculate on your experience, Timothy. I've not observed that personally. From the time I first got involved in mission projects related to SBC ministries, in the inner city of St. Louis way back in 1977, I've never seen Southern Baptists (other than mega church folks) go after the active members of other churches. And with mega church folk, denomination doesn't really matter when it comes to proselytizing. I've been in places where a vibrant, viable SBC congregation attracted people from other churches who weren't getting what they needed from their own church, but I'm sure that happens with churches of other denominations. Perhaps there is a difference of opinion on what constitutes an "active" member of another church, but I don't think someone whose name is on the roll because they were baptized as an infant, but has never participated in the life of the congregation where they were baptized is an "active" member, or a member at all.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby William Thornton » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:30 am

Timothy, does the UMC define or explain what constitutes 'proselyting'?
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:21 am

William Thornton wrote:Timothy, does the UMC define or explain what constitutes 'proselyting'?


William, I've not seen a single official definition of the term "proselytizing" per se, though I've read statements by more than one of our Bishops stating that we don't do this kind of thing. It just doesn't fit our understanding of our common Christian heritage and that the UMC is just one valid church among many valid kinds of churches.

But, It is actually a chargeable offense for a pastor to interfere in the pastoral ministry of another church. The term proselytizing isn't used there in the Discipline. But a pastor can be charged if she/he tries to take members from another church or interfere in the ministry of another church in any way. This includes performing rites of the church such as baptisms, weddings or funerals for members of someone else's church without the express permission of the pastor of that other church. The responsibility falls on the pastor not to interfere with the ministry of another church and its pastor.

By the way, this also includes churches I've previously pastored. Once I leave that church, I'm supposed to keep my nose out of the affairs of my previous charge.

(A chargeable offense is an offense for which a pastor may be disciplined which can include anything up to losing one's credentials.)
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:31 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Michael, you still haven't said why you don't start a church that you currently claim to be a Bishop in. I don't quite get why a Bishop in Church A would be encouraging church planting from denomination B. If you are a Bishop, take your authority as a Bishop and start a church. Why ask someone else's Bishop to do what you aren't doing?


Let's just say that I have not found this area to be receptive to the combination of traditions that the CAC encompasses. I believe people don't understand it, are confused by it. I believe they think you have to be one thing or the other. I think they don't understand how you can have both "apostolic succession" and a Baptist/Anabaptist "priesthood of the believer" in the same Communion.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby KeithE » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:21 pm

I wish you God's speed in finding a good situation to minister in. Northern MS is doubt doubt challenging for a moderate like yourself. That you have spent much time studying and have tried various positions just shows your persistence and openness (not vascillation).

I know a great couple who may be retiring in January to Oxford area. Excellent behind the scenes church workers of a moderate Baptist persuasion.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:09 pm

Michael Wrenn wrote:
Let's just say that I have not found this area to be receptive to the combination of traditions that the CAC encompasses. I believe people don't understand it, are confused by it. I believe they think you have to be one thing or the other. I think they don't understand how you can have both "apostolic succession" and a Baptist/Anabaptist "priesthood of the believer" in the same Communion.


I've read parts of your website. I'm certainly attracted to Celtic elements of what you are doing. But I much prefer fully episcopal system of church governance.

I'm a member of the Community of Aidan and Hilda, which was founded in Great Britain but has a fair number of members in the United States. The community is not a Church/denomination. It is made up of Christians of various Christian Churches who gain inspiration from Celtic Christianity and following the Celtic practice of having a Soul Friend (anamcara) to help you in your spiritual path some what akin to a spiritual director. We also develop our own rule of life to guide our own spirituality.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 pm

KeithE wrote:I wish you God's speed in finding a good situation to minister in. Northern MS is doubt doubt challenging for a moderate like yourself. That you have spent much time studying and have tried various positions just shows your persistence and openness (not vascillation).

I know a great couple who may be retiring in January to Oxford area. Excellent behind the scenes church workers of a moderate Baptist persuasion.


Keith, thank you very much for those kind words. Sometimes I feel isolated out here in the hinterlands. :) But I love North Mississippi!

I might like to get to know that couple, if possible.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:31 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Michael Wrenn wrote:
Let's just say that I have not found this area to be receptive to the combination of traditions that the CAC encompasses. I believe people don't understand it, are confused by it. I believe they think you have to be one thing or the other. I think they don't understand how you can have both "apostolic succession" and a Baptist/Anabaptist "priesthood of the believer" in the same Communion.


I've read parts of your website. I'm certainly attracted to Celtic elements of what you are doing. But I much prefer fully episcopal system of church governance.

I'm a member of the Community of Aidan and Hilda, which was founded in Great Britain but has a fair number of members in the United States. The community is not a Church/denomination. It is made up of Christians of various Christian Churches who gain inspiration from Celtic Christianity and following the Celtic practice of having a Soul Friend (anamcara) to help you in your spiritual path some what akin to a spiritual director. We also develop our own rule of life to guide our own spirituality.


Timothy, do they have a website?
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:37 pm

Michael Wrenn wrote:Timothy, do they have a website?


https://www.aidanandhilda.org.uk/index.php

The US website is down for some reason. I'll have to check on that. This is the UK website.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:38 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I don't understand your insistance that Methodists would have planted societies (that's what was planted not churches at that time) in areas with few if any people that were not showing signs of population growth or at least stability. You keep insisting that the Methodists did something they didn't do.

As to my job, I'm appointed to an urban congregation in a transitional middle and lower middle class area in a city with a population of 80,000 and a community of over 120,000. My appointment isn't dependent on finding creative ways to start a church with almost no people.

Again, the goal is to lead people to Jesus Christ, not provide every flavor of church in a given area only to have that church fail because there won't be enough members to sustain it.


Just wanted to add this to what I said previously: I'm reminded that it was easier for Baptists to start congregations in rural areas even more so than Methodists. Baptists didn't need a circuit rider to bring the Gospel to them and set up a church. A Baptist farmer who felt called to preach could gather a handful of people together and start a church themselves. They could start baptizing and serving the Lord's Supper, with or without an ordained minister; they could draw up their own articles of faith, and own and control any property. They didn't need anyone outside of their group to give them permission to do anything or to take ownership of their property. It was similar with the Quakers -- get two people together and you had a church.
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Michael Wrenn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Michael Wrenn wrote:Timothy, do they have a website?


https://www.aidanandhilda.org.uk/index.php

The US website is down for some reason. I'll have to check on that. This is the UK website.


Thank you!
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Re: New CBF leader says, 'Let's start some churches.'

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:45 pm

Michael Wrenn wrote:Just wanted to add this to what I said previously: I'm reminded that it was easier for Baptists to start congregations in rural areas even more so than Methodists. Baptists didn't need a circuit rider to bring the Gospel to them and set up a church. A Baptist farmer who felt called to preach could gather a handful of people together and start a church themselves. They could start baptizing and serving the Lord's Supper, with or without an ordained minister; they could draw up their own articles of faith, and own and control any property. They didn't need anyone outside of their group to give them permission to do anything or to take ownership of their property. It was similar with the Quakers -- get two people together and you had a church.


Certainly in Methodist theology there are no sacraments without a person authorized to preside over the sacraments. This is actually what pushed Wesley to ordain Coke and Asbury. The Anglican priests returned to England after the Revolutionary war leaving no one to baptize or give communion to Methodists.

Also for Methodists the Church is connectional. The idea of an independent congregation outside of the whole body of the UMC is foreign to our polity. Every church is under the superintendency of the Bishop, a Superintendent and the pastor in charge.
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