#Presby #PCUSA #Media & #Marketing #notmyOGHS

Hmmm…..

The #notmyOGHS movement on twitter points to 2 deeper issues.

The first of which is the utilization of stereotypes to market (even if meant ironically). The deep and complex issues of this campaign is summarized well here https://storify.com/breyeschow/concerns-raised-over-2015-oghs-campaign These are amazing issues, that are too complex to address in one blog post, please read over the variety here.

OGHSfishcal260x260

The other issue is media….some people raised the fact that an outside (non-theologically) based company was hired to help with the campaign.

In the quest to be hip(ster) and cutting edge, the denomination mis-stepped…In fact, from what I know about Millennials they might be some of the first to point to the hegemonic issues that exist in such an advertising scheme. I think this was part of the issue with the One Thousand and One Worshiping Communities scandal as well…

#wecandobetter

We can find new ways of speaking…We can do better in media…but we can’t leap ahead, we need Presbyterian marketers, we need to groundsource our young pastors to help with twitter, tumblr and instagram (FB is already passe)….

Media is so, so important…if we are preaching the Gospel we need to translate into all kinds of language–we learn this lesson over and over again.

How can we translate the Gospel into these forms of media, how can we get digital natives to do the translating? If we want to be hip to hipsters…shouldn’t they be the ones helping with the campaign (or give a substantial slice to them?)….

We have so many gifted resources, we should be using them.

Empowerment

Ok, Oberlin got me with this poster
There were a million other reasons why I went, but this was the primary one.
Its also why I go to church. (as opposed to sitting at home and being spiritual)
When I was 10 I was confirmed as an adult
I was assisting with Sunday School at age 12
At age 14 I told an emergency Children’s Sermon
By age 15 I ran a Vacation Bible Fair (just one night)
I was empowered, as such I am excited to see what I will do from now on!
Through church I find partners, through partners to be empowered to make a difference in the world.
Hopefully churches give healthy empowerment and partnership to those who want to love.
That’s how i look at it……

Thanks!

I have reached 250 posts and 100 followers about the same time! Then today (midafternoon) I’m already up to 51 views! The blog has seen amazing growth in the last month, and sustains a VARIED audience (wahoo!!)

Thanks for all the reads, likes and comments!

REEEEEEEEEE-form

Alright, after reading a disturbing post about the Board of Pensions (disturbing because not 6months ago the board of pensions came to Albany, NY and personally guaranteed us our pensions were fine) I am beginning to understand the rising healthcare cost for pastors with children (from %35 to %65). Seeing as I have three Preschoolers–this is a worry (read more about this http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2012-11/changes-pcusa-dues-structurenbsp)

Then there is the whole CIF/PIF thing, I recently came from a discussion where a church bypassed the formal process and are looking to hire a Baptist minister who holds some ministerial exp and an Associates degree…

Then there’s Sandy (enough said)

And a relative of one of my Pakistani congregants just learned her missional job is going to be cut off and she is going to be sent back to Pakistan, oh and by the way she’s a Christian Minister so guess what there is a death threat against her! The following pretty much sums up her statusImage

Can I just let out a general ARGH?

Here’s what I think

1. Restart, Rethink, Reform

We as a church are failing to reform fast enough. We are failing to connect to my generation, and we are failing to help those who need it

Here’s what we should do

a. Help students with their Loans: the pastors, the congregants, the children of members, complete strangers. If Jesus preaches FORGIVENESS of DEBTS (yes, I went all caps on you) we need to do it.

b. Educate, Educate, Educate: If our way of doing theology (in the Presbyterian and most Protestant churches) then College loans are not only up our alley, but education is too. How can we do more? What classes can we offer the community? What knowledge do we have that we can share? And we should be doing it for free (Take that for ministry)

c. CIF and PIFs are TOO SLOW. They suck the life out of the Pastor Nominating Committee–they are great visioning process but they are a lot of work, annoying and the potential pastor is stuck in a passive role (the pastor gets to be the girl HOPING the boy will as her out to the dance, very empowering for the congregation, not great shakes for the pastor). Plus this is not the only church who tried to skip the process, mine did right before me, and I bet every Presbytery has a recent case of this (let me know if you have) this is a symptom of the problem.

d. Co-Pastor all the way. Jesus sent out all of his ministers in pairs, and yet we have this weird-thing-we-call-normal the solo pastorate. Here’s the deal. Give both pastor’s 20hrs (assuming its a fulltime positiong) give both pastors healthcare coverage (yes, I know its a cost, but we should be creative and find ways to do it) and relieve the burden and loneliness of pastors. Plus we cut our unemployed number in half—I think there are something like 300 jobs for the 1000 pastors in search of a position. Not cool.

e. Plant, develop, etc. Ok so 10,001 worship communities was launched but the website has ALMOST NOTHING ON IT (Sorry this seems to be another Cap-worthy remark). What are we doing about that? Do people outside GA know about this? How about people outside the Presbyterian church? Are there grants? THis seems to be a potential risk-taking and exciting venture with almost nothing behind it. (Who is the point person for this anyway?)

f. Be Kid-Friendly for reals. Where are the children in all of this? Do you relegate them to the youth group, do they leave service, are they cutely put up in the beginning of service? We need children, but we need them to propagate what we have. What do children today need? How can we serve that? How can we value children for who they are now instead of who they will become (ps most of this is from the Christian Ed dept at PTS ie Osmer, Dean, Cady and Douglass).

g. Screw pensions. Ok, not for those who have been planning for them and are over the age of 40, but if they aren’t working maybe we should (and I mean we as the United States and the PCUSA as well) own up to the fact that they aren’t going to work anymore instead of cutting healthcare to promise money that we can no longer promise. If my choice is healthcare for my 3 boys now or pensions later, I’m choosing now, because I have got to take care of my children first. Pensions are secondary.

OR screw healthcare–maybe Obamacare is the way to go, I’m not sure, but we need to respond to somethings

h. and as for Sandy and Pakistan, here are all of these very personal/internal things I have to deal with and there are the two clear missional things that I should be dealing with, and I barely have the time and energy to keep up with my life, my revolving door, my neverending debt, my generational difference with 90% of PCUSA and the mainline church in general to do the work that comes at these very important times of crises.

We need to Reform. I was hoping GA would talk about the young, homosexuality, pensions, hiring rates, CIFs and PIFs, children and the church, social media etc. in some way that felt like a forward motion–I am still unsure as to whether or not any progress was actually made

The call is out there, the new generation is working hard–help us along…( for more info on the generational divide read here.)

please

Katy’s Rant Against Associate Pastors, and a proposed solution

 

II think Associate Pastors are totally stupid for the following reasons 1. Didn’t Protestants break away from Catholicism to avoid a hierarchical governance of the church, yet here we are reinstituting it.

2. Most associates are women and most head pastors are men

3. Associate Pastors have to work for too many bosses. Regular pastors already have two (sort of) between the congregation and God. The associate has the congregation, God and the Head Pastor

4. Finally, the most important reason why I hate associateships is that the ministries that are put under this heading “Pastoral Care” (translation: sick and old people), “Youth” (translation: those who we don’t get) and occaisionally “Mission (translation: those outsiders who need our help) are deemed LESS important than the “real” church (which apparently is made up of insiders who aren’t sick, over the age of twenty well off enough to not need help and not so old to be considered frail.

This

a. severely limits the church. We are essentially giving the more powerful pastor to those in power in the church. Basically rewarding those who we think can pull their own weight which is a broken theology, because no one has everything they need to be perfect, and we are putting our human limitations on who we think can serve the church

b. Severely limits the ministry itself, causing more red-tape, committees, paperwork and channels to get this “specialized” ministry done.

c. Finally, it severely limits the gifted associate pastors, all of whom have an important call to work, and may have specialized gifts in ministry that should be recognized. (Plus there’s that whole male/female discrepancy, I avoided Christian Ed and Associates like the plague figuring if I started there I’d never move out)

Image

Finally, I am aware that most pastors are lonely and sad, and am aware that we have completely ignored the fact that Jesus sent everybody out in twos (Mark 6). What if we took this one step further and move more and more towards the copastorate being the regular form of ministry as opposed to the solo! This is especially true, since Christ says we don’t need anything but each other to do ministry!!!

Therefore, I propose we do away with all associate pastorships and move instead to co-pastorships. (This idea which I’ve been bouncing around forever dovetails well with Jack’s in  http://jackjenkins.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/hey-pcusa-i-have-an-idea/ to employ pastors. Could be the Holy Spirit is moving us one and one towards this new kind of employment).

 

Image

One co-pastor could be parttime and one could be fulltime or any combo thereof (how would two parttime pastors with full benefits work–wouldn’t that be AWESOME!!)

The way it tends to work is both pastors still get full vacation (particularly important if your a married couple). The pastors take turns moderating session, and probably a “pastor” would be available to answer pastoral needs (no guarentees which one, it would be worked out between the two pastors).

Down with Associateships! Up with Co-Pastorships

Shannon A Thompson

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