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The mission of Seattle Presbytery is to participate, in word and deed, in God’s transforming work through the Gospel of Jesus Christ: †by strengthening the witness and mission of our congregations and members and by building strong partnerships with each other and the larger Christian community.

Events (Archive)

GA219: Phyllis Tickle : Membership declining, but Christianity is growing

Seattle Presbytery

Emily Enders Odom, PNS - “Let us hear about this crazy thing God is doing with the church.” That was the invitation of Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly, to the capacity crowd at the 219th General Assembly (2010) breakfast July 4. His invitation was illuminated later by the breakfast’s speaker, Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence; How Christianity is Changing and Why.

Tickle, a former Presbyterian “seduced by the smells and bells of Anglicanism” at 17, spoke with appreciation of coming home to her natal community. “I will always have the warmest spot in my heart for those first 17 years, and a real gratitude about what I was taught … about the Bible,” she said.

Tickle began by referencing the work of Anglican Bishop Mark Dyer, who contends that every 500 years the church has “a giant rummage sale.” She cited the Great Reformation of the 16th century, the Great Schism of the 11th century, the Great Decline and Fall of the 6th century, and the Great Transformation 500 years before that as examples.

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