Worship Times: Some Reflections from the PC(USA) General Assembly in Portland

A month ago, Worship Times flew home from the 222nd PC(USA) General Assembly in Portland, OR, tired but delighted. We were able to speak to hundreds of people, many of whom are longtime members we have only met by phone or email that we finally got to meet in person.

There were many highlights from our conversations over the week we were visiting with the Presbyterians (well, this branch of the Presbys, at least), but our favorite conversations were the ones that started with, “Do you need help with your website?” Which often prompted this expression:

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“Yes! We really do. Tell us more.”

We are blessed to be in a business that helps people. And doesn’t just help people, but helps people be faithful in the world, and share that faith with others. Throughout the year we get to speak to many people on the phone, and by email, and we love these conversations, but there is nothing like seeing that relief and joy in someone’s face when they find out that we can help them do what they do better, more easily.

The PC(USA) General Assembly isn’t the only denominational gathering we have gone to, but, so far, it’s the largest. Each time we go to one of these gatherings, it gives us the opportunity to have conversations that often range far beyond websites. We were able to provide a place for people to take a break, charge their devices, and just chat about their lives, their ministries, their passions for their work and the world. Though there is some cynicism present in any large church gathering, for the most part, the people who participate, from commissioners to denominational leaders to volunteers to observers to students to people representing organizations throughout the church – mission, camp and conferences, affinity groups – are passionate about this mission we share together, even when we disagree. And we got to hear their stories. Your stories. And think together about how we can help tell those stories.

The work that happens at large church gatherings are just a beginning, or continuation, of the work. Worship Times is currently hard at work following up on all of the conversations we started in Portland, and building on deeper conversations we were able to have with current members.

If you have the opportunity to take part of the larger conversations your churches or denominations are having, take part! Sometimes we get isolated from each other in our little corners of the world, and we need to be reminded that we are not in this alone. We never have been.

Blessings and gratitude for all of you,
Worship Times Team

 

**If you think Worship Times should be at your denominational gathering, please comment below, or send us a note. We can’t be at everything, but if it fits, we would love to be there. Please include dates and contact info for organizers.

We also have done trainings with regional church bodies and leadership organizations. If you are interested in booking Worship Times for a deeper look at websites and church communications, we’d be happy to talk to you about that, too.**

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