The Alliance for Mission and Renewal1 is a new organization born out of the time-tested idea that the message and spread of the Gospel, the rich reformed theological tradition, and the authority of the Scriptures could shape a movement of faith, hope, and love. As we commemorate our 50th anniversary as a denomination it seemed appropriate to begin an online presence devoted to celebrating the mission, people and stories that characterize the life of the Presbyterian Church in America.
The PCA formed out of this old idea in 1973. With the Lord’s help, for the sake of doctrinal purity and robust evangelism at home and around the world, a group of passionate, creative, and daring pastors, elders, and congregations birthed the PCA.
Many came to faith in Jesus Christ. Churches were planted. Networks were born. Students were reached. At one point, the PCA was the fastest growing conservative denomination in the world. For this, we praise God!
In a 1993 interview, Dr. James Baird, one of those founders, said, “Personally, you can find PCA church after PCA church, you know, that is right at the heart of trying to reach people who are hurting in our cities and across our country. And I think that has been a real strength. We have been able to bridge that old dilemma of either truth or love…”2
The Alliance for Mission and Renewal commits to celebrating wherever beautiful manifestations of the work of the Gospel occur within our denomination and throughout the Body of Christ and aligning our often-siloed efforts to serve our God and advance His kingdom in our world. It is not designed to be political, nor is it sectarian or reactionary.
Instead, we hope to reflect on and wrestle with issues pertaining to the Gospel in the life of the Church’s mission. Our website will have both original writing (blogs, podcasts, stories, articles, book reviews and news) and repurposed content that showcase the ways the Lord is at work in and through our churches. It will look to share and include perspectives across the full spectrum of our PCA community including those who have sometimes felt alienated or unheard.
Given past disagreements and difficulties in our history, we understand that it is easy to distrust and be cynical about these types of efforts. We mourn this reality. But we firmly believe that the good things in our story outweigh the bad and that our greatest encouragement comes from sharing the joy of the Gospel work that Jesus has invited us into together. Moreover, we believe that we truly need one another if we want the PCA to be the faithful and effective church that we all long for it to be through the next 50 years of our life and ministry together.
Earlier this year, Tim Keller, who served on our Advisory Board, offered the following Vision:
We want the PCA to be a church that faces our current cultural crisis without assimilation or compromise, nor with angry denunciation, and without withdrawal or with political agendas.
But instead, we must be a church that effectively answers the basic questions about how to form Christians to be biblically faithful and distinct in our culture, how to evangelize and grow through conversions in our culture, and how do we serve others so outsiders “see our good deeds” (1 Peter 2:12).
We must use the resources of the Reformed faith, including the full range of its theological commitments and the strengths of all its sub-traditions.
In one of our founding documents, Executive Board member David Cassidy wrote,“This Alliance will seek to unify brothers and sisters in the PCA to be a denomination that is characterized by values and commitments that are in keeping with the original vision of the PCA and are critical to its future fruitfulness.”In 2014, at General Assembly in Houston, Ray Cortese preached a sermon entitled, A Beautiful Orthodoxy. In his message, after telling the compelling story of a prostitute in his community who was converted to Jesus and who in turn ministered to an unbelieving nun at the local YMCA, he asked and answered what has helped to define our desire for the life of the PCA: “What if the PCA was the church where pastors believed they needed Jesus more than anyone in their community, churches where the weary and wounded gathered, and where the religious learned to rest—from redeemed prostitutes? We would call that church beautiful, beautifully orthodox.”There is so much to celebrate! Reformed University Fellowship reaches thousands of students on campuses throughout the country, many of whom themselves enter ministry. God uses church-planting networks to transform communities and cities in the US and around the world. Church renewal has become as vital to the denomination as planting. Women’s voices are being heard. Ethnic minorities are in an increasing number of leadership positions. And, by God’s grace, a new generation of pastors and leaders are offering hope for a bright future of Gospel ministry through this precious denomination.This is why the AMR is dedicated to helping to make the PCA a faithful, unified, and flourishing family of churches that honor each other and work together for God’s glory in all things.Our commitment is to celebrate all this and more, and we hope you will join us.
 The Executive Board of the Alliance for Mission & Renewal is David Cassidy, Jenilyn Swett, Alexander Jun, Chris Gordon, Russ Whitfield, Joel St. Clair, David Richter, and Mike Khandjian
 Oral History, September 2, 1993. Interview with Dr. James Baird, by Rev. William Hughes