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Mar 20, 2006

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Dana Ames

Mike-
Thanks for writing down all your good thoughts, especially these- too many people hold the free market system to be god, while too many others refuse to interact with economics because they can't conceive of anything good coming from it. There has to be a better way- you just might be pointing in that direction.

I've been in a PCUSA church (in Redwoods Presbytery!!!) for the past six years, mainly because its community is where I fit right now in my journey- I wouldn't call myself a Calvinist. Perhaps that is my failing and not Calvin's- NT Wright holds him in pretty high regard...

I am constantly finding out about Presbyterians who are "out there" ministering much good (Ken Bailey, Phil Johnson in Australia, Dan Clendenin, others whose names escape me now). I have to say I'm surprised and pleased when I find them. Surprised because most of what I have heard about Presbyterians has had to do with internal politics, not about how we have been helping people come to Jesus or deepen their walk with him. Pleased because I'm finding lots of Presbys who do actually do that.

I'm glad you're on the GAC. Most of the people in the pews couldn't care less about what goes on in the "managerial" echelons of the denomination, but those goings-on have an effect. From what I have read of your writings around the etherworld, it seems to me you are providentially situated there. I can imagine that it could be right burdensome at times. I hope you have people with whom you have good and true relationships.

And to your Ooze article, I say a hearty Amen, and well done. I hope people hear you. As someone who has come in from the outside, I see the current struggles in the denomination emanating very much from the "sociology of status" that some with power use to force their agenda on the denomination (I'm not any happier with The Layman crowd than I am with the More Light folks), instead of using the power they have to call and empower us all to be the reconciling and transforming body of Jesus in the world through the local congregations.

Thanks again, and God bless you.

Dana Ames
Ukiah, California

Michael Kruse

"Surprised because most of what I have heard about Presbyterians has had to do with internal politics, not about how we have been helping people come to Jesus or deepen their walk with him."

Ouch! But unfortunately all too true.

"Most of the people in the pews couldn't care less about what goes on in the "managerial" echelons of the denomination, but those goings-on have an effect."

I don't think people should have to be overly attuned to all that happens to denominational management and it is generally a good thing they are not. Our primary mission is to the world, not to the church. Yes, someone has to do the work but I think the higher governing bodies exist to support the mission of congregations and individuals as they minister to the world, not to suck people out of the world to service denominational structures.

"...using the power they have to call and empower us all to be the reconciling and transforming body of Jesus in the world through the local congregations"

There isn't a better description of my intention for these posts than this. Thank you for your kind words of affirmation!

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