Hello! My name is Michael Ives. I serve as minister of the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Rhode Island. In this blog, I focus on ministry issues from a confessionally Reformed perspective, and especially the history, theory, and contemporary applicability of the parish model for Gospel witness and church extension.
The title ‘West Port Experiment’ refers to the efforts of Dr. Thomas Chalmers in the late 1840s who, after leaving the endowments of the establishment in the Disruption of 1843, implemented his cherished parish model of church extension and paternalistic philanthropy in one of the worst slums of industrialized Edinburgh. Chalmers’ Territorial Church in the West Port stands as a kind of monument to the adaptability of the old parish plan in a new social, economic, and political context and to the complementarity of Christian vision and practical experimentation.
If you are Reformed and are presently practicing parish missions – adopting a geographic district for regular house-to-house evangelism – I’d love to hear from you. You can e-mail me at mjives dot refparish dot gmail dot com.
I also write for a broader audience, especially for unbelievers at the Reformed Parish.