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June 10, 2021

Welcome to the Presbytery Pause,
a supplement publication with a targeted message
from our New Castle Presbyters to share pertinent information every other Thursday
between Midweek Musings issues.

We Want Change Without Having to Change. What’s Up With That?
By Tracy Keenan, Missional Presbyter
We want young people. Young families. New members. Practically every church I talk with says something like this. Next, spoken or unspoken, comes this: But we don’t want to change anything. So, ideally, they want young people who act, dress, talk, behave, and have the same preferences as their older members do. And have lots of money. And plenty of time to volunteer for church committee work.
Churches who want change without having to change? You begin to wonder if we really want what we say we want.
Thom Rainer, in his book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church,” writes,
“… the members of the dying church would only accept the growth if the new members were like them and if the church would continue to ‘do church’ the way they wanted it.”  He goes on to say, “A church cannot survive long-term where members are focused on their own preferences: my music style, my desired length and order of worship services, my activities and programs, my need of ministers and staff, my, my, my…” (Rainer, 2014)
Now, obviously, we have a responsibility to tend to the flock. But we also have a responsibility to teach the flock to adapt to and accommodate the outside community in order to love with God’s love.
Consider how we do family gatherings.
In some extended families, a new partner or spouse may be welcomed and engaged with warm curiosity and an effort to find out more about them. The family will cater to the newcomers, swap stories, and adapt as is necessary to their needs while still, of course, being who they are themselves. They also understand that with each new family member, whether a partner or a new child, the family changes.
In less-welcoming families, however, after a first greeting to a newcomer, the self-absorbed family goes about things as they’ve always done them, talking among themselves, expecting the newbie to figure it out. If they do talk with the newcomer, it’s a monologue of how far back their family roots go, perhaps, or about all the accomplished siblings and cousins. A newcomer is expected to adapt, to be impressed, and then, inevitably, to be talked about and judged after they leave.
What kind of “family” do we want to be?
These are just a few of the things we talk about at the Thursday Noon Transformers’ Zoom meetings for pastors and CREs. We talk about social justice, strategy, session meetings, new initiatives, and conflict. We look at our biggest challenges, strengths, resources, learning curves, and stuck places. We celebrate successes and signs of growth. We share ideas and cross-pollinate our efforts. And we encourage one another to embrace the changes that can help us live into God’s Kin-dom faithfully. Contact Donna or watch for the weekly Zoom links to join us.

Peace, Tracy

ZOOM meeting times:
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – General sharing time
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – Lectio Divina and prayer
Thursdays, 1 p.m. – General sharing time (Changes to Thursday at noon for Transformational pastors on April 29)

Pastors are gathering with Presbytery staff “online” through Zoom each week to laugh, share experiences, ask questions, and find support.  All pastors are invited to join us at one or more of these times.  A link to join the ZOOM meetings is sent each Monday.  Misplaced the email? 
Contact the administrative office
and we'll send it to you!
Visit NCP's Website here
The NCP physical office is closed during this time, however the staff are available via email and cell phone.  "Normal" business hours during the summer season, with noted sabbath exceptions, include: 

Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Friday closed  (limited staff available via email)

Rev. Dr. Tracy Keenan, Missional Presbyter 
Fridays (Vacation the week of 5/31/2021)

Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, Connectional Presbyter/Stated Clerk 

Donna Scully, Administrator/Assistant Stated Clerk
Fridays and Weekends 

Jerry Hunter, Accounting Administrator/Treasurer
Thursdays and Weekends

July 4th Holiday observed Monday, July 5th

View the ABOUT tab and OUR TEAM on our
website for contact information.
NCP Mailing Address:
1102 W. Church Road, Newark, DE 19711
(Please email or call the Presbytery before mailing important letters/packages to insure your information is not delayed.)

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