Friday, June 27, 2014

A different perspective on the 1001 PC (USA) Worshiping Communities

After having written about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 1001 worshiping communities’ site, and finding they were offensive hoaxes, surely planted by jokesters and scalawags, I, in most cases, am happy with what I now find. I should add that it is good that I found veterans and families because rather than a hoax it was a serious attempt at planting a very bad anti-Semitic site in the middle of the 1001 worshiping communities. I say ‘was’ because the administrators took down the offending offerings which probably never existed except in name as well as the one which was meant to do harm. [1]
I should not blame the administrators for missing the bad link to the anti-Semitic site because those connected to both Veterans News Now and Veterans Today hide behind legitimate links using helpful web spots for veterans.

But what I did find, as I was looking last night, are many new immigrant worshiping communities, including one close to me in Yuba City, California. Hosanna Punjabi Christian Church which is “Evangelizing … immigrants from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.” There are also communities which are actually new churches, and there are communities which consist of Bible studies and/or action groups in service to others.
Of course I have sorrow at such communities as New Queer Faith Forum which is not so much a community as just a place to communicate ideas and ideals. I find it has a connection to the GLBTQ metropolitan Community churches and includes those of any faith.

 Founder Brian Symonds is quoted in Frontiers LA.Com:

“Faith was never meant to be a destructive force, but somewhere along the line a few hijacked it and used it to really tear down a vulnerable community. They used it to tear us down,” says Symonds who has a seminary background and is a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church.

Symonds has already experienced success with a similar forum in West Los Angeles that meets on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. He wanted to expand into Orange County because he is a resident of Fullerton.

Symonds’ husband serves on the board of The Center's Young Professionals Council, and he connected with Executive Director Kevin O'Grady, whom he talked with about bringing “this new faith movement” to Orange County.

While the West L.A. group has turned out to be Christian-centered, Symonds says “I never say this is Christian or Muslim or Buddhist. This is for anybody struggling with spirituality or faith. Let's explore it together. We are saying come talk to us and let's find out how we can better respond to the faith needs.”

 What I really see in all of these communities is such a diverse gathering of communities, some emerging communities, some very orthodox with even their essentials listed, some open to all faiths and all lifestyles, that eventually they, like the rest of society, will splinter away from each other which is perhaps how it must be. Whatever the direction I am grateful for those communities which are upholding the orthodox faith of the Church.
[1] See 1001 Worshiping Communities: dancing with balloons, a bisexual Jesus and Veterans News Now!! Update

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