From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Church Leaders Encouraged by Renewed
04 May 1996 16:06:08
96151 Church Leaders Encouraged by Renewed
Emphasis on Men in The Denomination
by Julian Shipp
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Fresh from the National Council Meeting of Presbyterian
Men April 19-21 in Pittsburgh, Dr. Youngil Cho, PC(USA) national president
of Presbyterian Men, says he believes the denomination is "standing on the
threshold of a new day for men" in the denomination.
Cho, of Raleigh, N.C., who is also the 1996-97 General Assembly
Council chair, has served as president of Presbyterian Men since 1993.
During the meeting, he presented a brief update on activities for men that
are occurring throughout and outside of the denomination.
In January of 1995, Cho said he asked leaders in the Christian
Education Program Area of the Congregational Ministries Division (CMD) to
consider developing a new Bible study program for men. After many
conversations and much planning, the project was approved. The Rev. Curtis
A. Miller, the CMD's associate for men's ministries, accepted the
challenges of the new project and began work on the Bible study project
March 1, 1995.
"For us this is a very exciting time in men's ministries," Miller told
the Presbyterian News Service. "In the past we've heard bad news about men
not being in the church, but we're looking at a time when men are looking
to the church for answers to questions about their personhood, their future
and their sense of purpose and being. And these are questions they've not
asked the church in a long time."
To date, six of the seven studies in the Bible Study for Men series
have been produced. Written by John C. Purdy and William Ramsay, the
resources have been warmly received, according to Cho and Miller. For
example, Cho said, as part of the development of the series, the 1995
meeting of the National Board of Presbyterian Men in Belleville, Ill., was
devoted to studying the book of Job. Each board member was asked to bring
two other men -- one under 40 and one over 40.
"Seventy-nine men gathered for this experience and words cannot
describe the excitement, the bonding, the spiritual encounters, and the new
sense of purpose that took shape during those seven hours of Bible study,"
Cho said. "Usually such an experience would have left the men weary, but
they walked away excited about what had happened and excited about being
men together in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)."
Cho said a Coordinating Committee for Men's Ministries has also been
formed with four members of the committee from Presbyterian Men (including
the ex-officio executive secretary); four involved in congregational
ministries with men (not affiliated with Presbyterian Men); and Curtis, who
is the committee chair. The committee's purpose is to envision future
ministries for men throughout the denomination and develop possible
strategies for their implementation.
Cho said the Association for Men's Ministries continues to hold
workshops and seminars with presbyteries, individual congregations and
national gatherings focusing on men's ministry. Next year, Cho said, the
association hopes to have three model programs in place as examples of how
presbyteries can be structured to support men's ministries through
Presbyterian Men, the Bible Study for Men series and through congregational
ministries with men.
Cho said National Korean Presbyterian Men (NKPM) continues to grow and
be an important part of the men's ministry program. This year Miller was
keynote speaker at NKPM's national gathering in Detroit. Cho said the
denomination continues to support NKPM as it seeks greater involvement from
them in the National Council of Presbyterian Men.
Cho also cited the first "Men of the Church Day," held June 18, 1995.
Responding to a number of voices throughout the denomination, the 205th
General Assembly voted to set aside the third Sunday in June (Father's Day)
as a time for emphasizing the contributions of men in the life of the
family, the church and the community.
"A new day is dawning for men's ministries in the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.)," Cho said. "There is a new excitement and a new spirit. Men are
beginning to once more remember God and to rediscover their call to be
God's servants. There is much to be done, but with God's blessings and
[men's] support, what two years ago was a weakness in our church can become
a strength and a source for new life for all the men in the denomination."
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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