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  •  I found their website. (3+ / 0-)
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    fumie, Remediator, blueoasis

    No DoC images or links, but Focus On The Family is on the 'CHRISTIAN LINKS' page.

    Looks like they're independent.

    Sullivan FCC webpage Warning for flashy gifs and/or autoplay music on the subpages. Some of the website is only accessible through the drop-down menu that isn't on the main page but is on the others - the Links page is one of them.

    Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

    by Cassandra Waites on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:58:49 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  And there is a podcast of the sermons. (2+ / 0-)
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      fumie, blueoasis

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:00:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a relief. Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
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      Cassandra Waites

      I'm not religious myself and only have a general understanding of different denominations but I've always respected certain ones and the members that I know.

      Much has been written here by troutfishing and frederick clarkson and others about the invasion of the more mainstream churches by fundamentalists, steeplejacking I believe is the term.  I'm happy to know that isn't the case here.

      More: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

      by blueoasis on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:40:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I went to the DOC website and searched (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, blueoasis

      the zip code for Sullivan, Indiana.

      Sullivan First Christian Church is not a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affiliated congregation.

      I also checked Sullivan First Christian Church's website.  They don't have any history posted.  Odds are though they're an independent Christian Church that parted ways with the disciples over  something sometime in the last 100 years or so.

      •  I don't think they are a non-instrumental church (1+ / 0-)
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        so they wouldn't have split off in the 19th century over that.

      •  In reading through the site, (0+ / 0-)

        and having attended a DoC church for over two years, the weekly communion seems to me to be the one truly DoC signifier I saw (compared to independent non-fundy Baptists, which are similar in appearance).

        Judging from the sermon titles dealing with baptism, I'm not entirely sure they wouldn't re-baptize by default in the case of a new member who had been sprinkled instead of dunked. That's not something my DoC congregation would have required - permitted yes, required no.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:43:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  DoC churches rule themselves and freely associate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          unlike most other mainline denominations where there is a hierarchy of some sort that makes the rules and says what is acceptable and what is not.

          Individuals are free to make their own decisions with respect to theology and faith using scripture as a guide that each person is free to interpret using all the tools of modern criticism.

          Congregations make all their own decisions, and own everything.  

          The regional and  national offices are supported by voluntary donations from the churches and the churches members. Those bodies work together to set the guidelines for ordination and standing.  They are available to consult with congregations, and provide reflection and training resources for congregations, but congregations can call anyone they want as their pastor.  He or she need not be ordained, and need not have standing.

          As a result there is a fairly wide range of faith and practice inside DoC churches -- more so than in UCC churches.

          It's the Congregational Meeting that regulates congregations, and the General Assembly that regulates the shape of the denomination as a whole.  Both of these are voluntary associations.

          DoC churches have Elders but the members of the congregation each have a vote in any decision taken by the congregation, and members can call a meeting of the congregation if a majority want to do so. So the power of the Elders is limited by the will of the congregation. Ministers have no power in the congregation at all beyond a single vote -- assuming they are a member of the congregation --  and their natural powers of persuasion. (This is a church that came into being on the American frontier at the beginning of the 19th century -- and you can see it in DoC polity)

          The General Assembly is a meeting of the general church that is held every 2 years. Each congregation is invited to send voting lay delegates to the General Assembly.  In addition, all ordained clergy with standing are automatic delegates.   (This tends to give the GA a certain forward-thinking flavor as DoC ministers tend to be more liberal than their congregations, and a higher percentage of Ministers participate in GA than of congregations sending lay delegates. In fact many small congregations tend to figure that if their minister is there, then they are represented.)

          Anyone with something they want to submit for the consideration or deliberation of the general church can write a resolution to submit for consideration and solicit signatures. If enough people want it to be discussed -- it will come to the floor for discussion.

          And over an over again -- either disciples simply stay in dialogue while they agree to disagree,  or the more forward thinking, liberal position dominates discussion on the floor with the end result that individuals and/or congregations that don't share that view eventually drop their affiliation with  the DoC. Sometimes it happens forcefully with lots of shouting, other times just by drifting with the current. But the trend is clear.

          The DoC -- moves along with societal changes -- not at the forefront (though some of us are always there), but not as a laggard either. And anyone who really resists the trending changes usually moves into the eddy of one of the branches of the independent christian churches.

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