More Good NCD News

We have three exciting pieces of news to report regarding the church-plant from yesterday’s meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery .  (Warning, Presbyterian-ese is spoken in parts of this post. For translation, see notes at bottom). First, the recommendation that Mike and I be officially called as Organizing Co-Pastors of The Upper Room NCD[1] passed as an item on the consent agenda.[2]  Then, after tribute to both Open Door and Hot Metal, the Presbytery officially chartered[3] both of them and Philip Lotspeich of the PC(USA)[4]’s office of Church Growth and New Church Development gave a powerful speech about the importance of planting new churches if the denomination is ever going to start making disciples among the un-churched[5] and de-churched[6] in America.  Then, the Presbytery voted to release funds for us to use for the rest of 2008, until our grants officially kick-in in January![7] 

The third thing that we celebrated yesterday was Mike’s passing of his oral-parts-of-trial.[8]  Mike read his statement of faith (which was called “theologically bulletproof” by another pastor) and responded well to the four questions which were directed to him.  The vote to approve his ordination was unanimous.  Especially touching was the response of the Presbytery’s vice-moderator, an elder from Mike’s home church, who spoke of having seen Mike brought into church as a two week old baby and how proud he was to see him going into ministry.  Sunday afternoon, Mike will become Rev. Mike as he’s ordained at Parkwood Presbyterian Church. 

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and prayed for the Presbytery yesterday.  After it was all over, all we could think to say was “Praise God” and “Wow”. 

Allelujah to the Lord of all creation, including Presbytery meetings.

[1] New Church Development.  More explanation of the name “The Upper Room” will follow at some point in the future . . .

[2] List of miscellaneous things that people think aren’t worth wasting time debating.

[3] Decided they’re actually a real “church”.

[4] Presbyterian Church USA –

[5] Those who have never set foot inside a church.  For practical purposes, this term might as well refer to some “Christmas and Easter” Christians as well. 

[6] Those burned by the church because it was intolerant, stubborn, judgmental, hypocritical, and generally unChristian.

[7] The Lord provides.

[8] Basically, the Presbytery has a chance to interrogate him about his statement of faith, decide if they like his theology, then vote on whether or not he’s welcome to be ordained and serve in that Presbytery.

  1. Suzanne said:

    Praise God! and Woo-hoo on the funding!

  2. I’m so excited for you all! (I also heard you are trying to stop saying “wow” and a little story around that whole thing. VERY funny!)

  3. Praise God Chris! Great news! I had heard from BJ about what was happening and I think it is incredibly exciting and encouraging…especially as I begin my own work.


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