In its ongoing efforts to reach new and ever broader audiences through social media, the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s office of Theology and Worship will host its fifth Twitter chat on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT.

The social media conversation will be moderated by the Rev. Dr. Charles Wiley III, coordinator for Theology and Worship and the author of “Polity Matters,” the latest paper in the office’s “Theological Conversations” series.

Launched in 2015, “Theological Conversations” is designed to invite congregational leaders across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) into theological conversation wherever they gather as sessions, presbyteries, or for adult education in congregations. Each paper is a study resource with accompanying conversation questions.

Four sets of materials—written by a diverse group of theologians on a topic of their choice—were published in 2015. Wiley’s is the first paper to be released in 2016.

As the PC(USA) approaches the 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland, Oregon, June 18-25, Wiley looks forward to engaging the Twitter audience on how our polity “focuses us on [our] witness to Christ,” especially in a GA year.

“We Presbyterians often comment on how deeply we value our polity, which gathers elders—meeting in councils—to provide leadership, discernment, and guidance,” says Wiley. “We also often lament the ways our polity falls short of its potential. I wrote ‘Polity Matters’ to remind us of the theological affirmations that undergird our polity, suggesting ways in which remembering those affirmations can help us live our polity faithfully as grateful response to God’s grace that precedes us and grounds us.”

Among the questions to be addressed during the May 17 chat are:

  • What do you appreciate about the polity of this denomination?
  • What are some of the ways our Presbyterian polity become problematic, even for those who strongly appreciate it?
  • When we’re thinking about polity, why is it important to start with God and God’s grace?

The May 17 Twitter chat can be followed using the hashtag #TheoConvo.


Click here to download the fifth paper in the “Theological Conversations” series, “Polity Matters,” by Charles Wiley.