By Teri C. Peterson, MDiv ‘05

In many congregations, summer was a slightly (or much) slower season, and as autumn approaches we gear up for an onslaught of new and returning programs. Sunday School returns from sabbatical, the worship schedule may expand to more services, youth groups and confirmation classes and adult education and fellowship opportunities and Presbyterian Women circles and mission projects and and and…

For many pastors and church staff, looking at the September calendar can feel daunting. Continue reading AND, AND, AND.

For the Bookshelf: The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation

Rainer, Thom S., Rainer, Jess W., The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation. LifeWay Christian Research, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee, 2011.

By guest blogger Pat Olds

The context and content of this book is an “old school vs. new school” dialogue: interpretation and insight between two generations, a baby boomer father (1946-1964) and his Millennial adult son (1982-1994). The intergenerational dialogue is undergirded by a survey study of 1,200 Millennial adult respondents, males (51%) and females (49%); white (61%), African American (14%), Hispanic (19%), Asian (5%) and Multiethnic (1%). The categories surveyed and evaluated were norms, values, motivation, diversity between young and old, lifestyles, work environments, finances, future outlook, relationships – marriage, children, elders, friends, coworkers and mentors, leadership, communication and religion, soul views. The father-son millennial study of post-moderates life experiences reveals the character traits of “typical” Millennial adults includes: self-expressive, teachable, financially confused, technology savvy educated and opened to different world views.

The survey results characterized the millennial adults as being: Continue reading For the Bookshelf: The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation

Fourth Pres Pastor Shannon Kershner to Speak at Fall Convocation

Columbia Theological Seminary has announced details for its Opening Convocation for the seminary’s 189th session. The event will be held at the Columbia Presbyterian Church located at 711 South Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA on September 8 at 11:00 am. This year’s speaker will be the Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner, senior pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, IL. Continue reading Fourth Pres Pastor Shannon Kershner to Speak at Fall Convocation

The Struggle is Real

By Rev. James Ellis III, Chaplain of Discipleship at Hope College

In Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition for the Restless Christian, CEO and founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen raises a timely moral inquiry for our society: “Are we raising our children to be safe or to be brave? Are we raising our children to be smart or to be loving? Are we raising our children to be successful or to be significant?”

Given years of work with young people in churches, my interest in Haugen’s concerns the responsibilities of Christian parents and adults. I have encountered many in Christian communities who, perhaps through a wacky combination of innocence, avoidance, and theological misguidance, live as though playing dodge-ball with hardship is the way of Christ.

In this mindset it’s anathema to not pursue or enjoy an existence that avoids risk at all cost. Continue reading The Struggle is Real

Bad Teaching

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Polemics against bad teaching and poor education are a staple in social science, philosophy, and education literature. I suspect for two reasons: first, they are effective in getting readers riled up, and, second, I suspect it’s just too easy to sling tomatoes at poor teachers. After all, who among us hasn’t suffered under one? However, I do love a good rant… Continue reading Bad Teaching


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