This Thanksgiving, I have pledged to embrace the challenge of our differences, hold close our disagreements, and then see what God can make of us being together.
After reading Archbishop Tutu’s letter I was moved by the Holy Spirit to reach out to try and continue this important conversation. I could only imagine how busy the Archbishop is, so when I asked him to join me in the regular conversation series I host on www.TimeToEmbrace.com, I was surprised and deeply humbled when he agreed to my request.
Toward the end of August, Hunter Farrell, the director of Presbyterian World Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) shared with the church that the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico has taken official action to sever connection with the PCUSA.
“Reflecting God’s Heart” was the theme of the More Light Presbyterians’ national conference held last weekend in Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY. From start to finish, the worship, receptions, meals, workshops and evening movie time were all geared to fulfill the prayer from the last verse of the poem of our 17th century Pilgrim ancestor, John Robinson: “Enlarge, expand all Christian souls to comprehend your love.”
I have had only two encounters with Rev. Joan Gray, Moderator of the 217th General Assembly (2006-2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Both of them have been memorable and helpful to me in understanding how to be a Christian and a Presbyterian.
This past Tuesday, the highest ranking court in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, rendered decisions in cases concerning the long-awaited ordinations of two devout Presbyterians; Scott Anderson who is gay and Lisa Larges who is lesbian.
This spring, with other former moderators, Rev. Lamar signed a letter calling for unity in the face of the ratification of Amendment 10A. Now in retirement in upstate New York, I sought him out last week and asked him to share with me, specifically, how the church can best do that now. I treasure his wisdom and want to share it with you here.
The whole point of the revised ordination requirements is this: Love. God’s love is not a new thing, of course. When asked what God’s greatest commandment for us was, Jesus replied: Love. Love is Jesus’ Truth about God that He lifted up, emphasized, and established through His words and actions in the world, including His death on the cross.
It is now certain that The Confession of Belhar has failed to receive the votes needed to enter our Book of Confessions, the first part of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It will not live among us as an authoritative statement of who we are, what we believe and what we resolve to do as a church.
One of the cornerstones upon which my faith in Christ rests is a maxim of my tradition: “Reformed, Always Must Be Reformed.” I have spoken before on what it means to me. Recently, in a comment on a blog post, the question of this phrase’s meaning was posed and it prompted me to delve deeper into its meaning.