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May 20, 2010



I suspect, as someone who uses the word 'ownership' quite a lot what we intend is 'participation in' rather an 'imposition of' which is probably tantmount to 'belonging.' So, when I want my congregation to 'own' a decision I expect them to participate in its formulation and implementation - as we've just done in relation to All Age worship and me working in Sunday School. Because the decision belongs to the people, then they also belong to it somehow. There may be a danger (risk?!) that 'belonging' and 'owning' get confused, but pondering what we mean when we use the words is definitely worthwhile. Whether I'll moderate my language is another matter ;-))

andy goodliff

Jim was this a BUGB council event ... I'd be interested to hear more ... was it invitees only?

Robert Gordon Maccini

Hi Jim--Here in US, there are several Baptist denominations, the Southern Baptists being the largest, with several African American ones, and mine, the American Baptist Churches USA (which the fifth largest). What I see happening in my own denomination is less and less interest in what we used to call "Baptist distinctives." When I was pastoring, people who joined the church rarely, if ever, did so because of it being Baptist. They identified preaching. music, fellowship, education programs, etc. as their reason for joining. I'm not sure what to make of this, but I put it out there as something for the discussion. In the US, it appears that the "mainline decline" continues. Cheers, Bob

Jim Gordon

Point taken Catriona, but I still think "ownership of" retains a possessive sense that "belonging to" doesn't. Take and give, give and take, I suppose the notion of giving oneself to seems more attractive than taking to oneself. But your point still taken,.
Bob Maccini -twice in a two days - glad you came by again - I recognise there are Baptist identities and that these vary enormously, particularly in the States. However the abandonment of distinctives need not mean the loss of a tradition and its identity. Indeed, it becomes a call to re-pristinate, to recover, to embody again that which has defined that tradition. The reasons you give for people joining are true enough - and deeply self-referring. What a tradition, or an identity confers, is something greater than, or at least capable of lifting us above, a self-chosen and consumer shaped choice in our Chistian expression

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