Author Archives: ptellison

From Holding Tank to the Busyness of Life

It’s nearly a month since we met in Pittsburgh in our Missional Think Tank.  Back in daily life, I have been on the lookout for stories and pictures and accounts of the missional church and how it looks.  And I’m curious about what everyone else has been finding.   What are you seeing and hearing?   Peace […]

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Home Again

                 Now back at my desk at Church Innovations, I am recalling the faces of particular young persons in the “Missional Pastors” and “Leaders under 35” cohorts. I am thinking of their body language as they met in breakout sessions within the large plenary space we all shared.  I am thinking of the words they […]

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Sitting differently:hearing differently

You’ve got content and you’ve got form.  Let’s talk form – the manner of sitting with one another, listening to one another. OK – first night’s plenary session was in a big room with people sitting all over. Second session – Monday morning – a fishbowl containing a person from each cohort, others from the cohort […]

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Networking – the Think Tank between Think Tanks

How will our emerging relationships with one another keep going between now and next January when we have the chance to meet one another again?  It must be possible. Peace. Pat Taylor Ellison

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Long timers and young leaders

I have been working with church leaders for over 20 years.  Back in my first year of this work, many of the particiants in this year’s Think Tank were about 3 years old.  And here’s something interesting and hopeful: these young leaders are not anti established church. Some of them feel the church has not been […]

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The metaphor of compost heap

One metaphor is that we are in a compost heap time in theological education: it is messy and may not smell very good, but rich things will come because 0f this time. What are other metaphors of this time in the life of the Church?  Peace. Pat Taylor Ellison

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Congregation stories

Gary Pearce noticed that the congregations who presented to the Think Tank were not shy about mentioning the failures of some of their experiments. Some of the ways they tried to connect with people didn’t turn out the way they expected – but that was often a pleasant surprise.  We could tell as they told […]

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7 cohorts are deep in conversation

It’s 8:10 PM Sunday April 11. I’m sitting in the John Knox Room at Pittsburgh Seminary, after listening to three congregations from the Westminster PMC Cluster talk about how their local church has changed in its journey toward becoming missional.  And now 7 different groups, from very different social locations in church systems, are speaking […]

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In Beautiful Pittsburgh

I can’t tell you how lovely the city of Pittsburgh is! I have just spent an evening looking over the rivers and loving the view. Wonderful. Now I can’t wait to meet all the folks coming to the Think Tank. See you for dinner tomorrow night!  Peace. Pat

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CI Team Excited!

We are ready to bring our team to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. The preparations are made, the guests are coming, and we look forward to working with Pittsburgh Seminary folks to co-host the 2010 Missional Church Think Tank. May God bless our conversation richly to bear fruit in God’s mission!   Peace.  Pat Taylor Ellison

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