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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

13 Ways to say Hope

This post is part of a series on questions for candidates for moderator for the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA). I am standing for moderator of this assembly. 

If you missed them, you can see parts 1 and 2 below.  

I see hope expressed in the PC(USA) in many ways, people and places,
such as …

... a Presbyterian army chaplain deployed in Afghanistan who gathers with anyone who is willing, for worship and communion in a small chapel. She accompanies fearful, lonely, remorseful, courageous, and questioning soldiers of no faith or other faiths on their journeys as they face challenges and moral dilemmas most of us will never face

… a small group of women who have travelled with me every Thursday for over 4 years to share in Bible study and prayer with federal offenders in a local detention facility

… a recent conference in Tulcea, Romania, during which over eighty helping professionals learned about trauma-informed practices, concrete ways to help heal the broken lives of Roma Children, and the collaboration of PCUSA mission coworkers of Presbyterian Women that made it happen …

… speaking of Presbyterian Women, they have been in the vanguard of the Spirit’s movement in the church for 200 years. Their current initiatives are immigration and anti-racism. They value Bible study, fund creative and healing ministries all over the world, and met in small groups before it was “hip” to do so!

… recent seminary graduates, young, old, passionate about Jesus and savvy communicators, deep thinkers, willing to   sacrifice and experiment and live simply and reach out to everyone

… urban congregations that start community gardens and rural congregations that support Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services

Living Waters for the World and gracious separations that have truly been gracious

Presbyterians Today, which helps us celebrate creativity and strong leadership and bloggers who make sure we know the Body of Christ is SO much bigger than the PCUSA

… ruling elders and deacons who share the Lord’s Supper in homes of those who cannot attend weekly worship

… conversations in adult Sunday School classes about big issues: climate change, poverty, public education

… adults willing to engage youth, straight and gay, in conversations about sexual ethics

… the new Presbyterian Hymnal, specifically the new Gospel “Gloria,” and the old “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”

… those who present their children for baptism. This is perhaps the most daring and amazing expression of hope of all. 

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