Greetings and Happy New Year, Companions on the Journey!
I can hardly believe we are half-way through this first month of the New Year. 2017 was a year filled with GOD’S AMAZING GRACE! We began the year, full-steam ahead, moving forward in celebrating our 300 years of faithful witness. Under the leadership of Vijay and Susan Aggarwal and the many saints who labored with them, we participated in various programs, projects, and mission opportunities to commemorate our long, rich history.
On behalf of the Presbytery leadership, we are extremely grateful for all of you; for your participation, support, and prayers that enabled us to have a successful anniversary year. Your faithfulness and commitment to God’s call to the Presbytery enabled us to far-exceed our mission goal of $300,000 in our anniversary mission campaign. Your efforts allowed us to send a loud and clear message that our Presbytery is committed to the mission initiatives and partnerships of our congregations.
We culminated our celebration with a spirit-filled Anniversary Worship Service at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, which in itself is a testament of our commitment to foster ecumenical relationships. As we go into 2018, WE CAN’T TURN BACK NOW! In the midst of all of our celebrating, we boldly continued the sometimes challenging but yet “Courageous Conversations” of not only RACE, BIAS, AND PRIVILEGE, but also IMMIGRATION. This New Year extends the invitation for us to continue conversing with one another in love; for as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” THEREFORE, WE CAN’T TURN BACK NOW!
The New Year affords us a new beginning! In the words of Henri J. M. Nouwen, “We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new.” In that spirit, members of the Leadership Collegium are dreaming and discerning “new” possibilities for the Presbytery and within our regions. Come and hear.
Our next Presbytery meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 30, at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, the home of our Moderator-Elect, Elder Linda Rutkosky. Registration begins at 11:00 am. You are invited to attend one of two pre-presbytery conversations addressing Refugees and the Complexity and Call of the Church; or For the Protection of the Children of Israel and Palestine, a proposed overture. Lunch and fellowship begins at noon, and the call to meeting at 1:00 pm.
Friends, you will not want to miss this meeting! In addition to our “Abiding and Building” in ministry, we will dwell together in a spirit-filled and memorable worship experience as we hear the Word proclaimed through seven powerful voices within our Presbytery from the theme, “I Have a Dream,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most memorable and prolific speech. We will be moved in our spirits by melodious song of the Doylestown Church’s Chancel Choir, under their Director of Music and the Arts, David J. Fitzpatrick.
It will be my honor to install our new moderator and vice-moderator, and commission our stated clerk and new business manager. After which, we will come to the table to share in the sacrament. Finally, please note that we will pay memorial tribute to those elders and ministers of our Presbytery who have joined the cloud of witnesses during the past year. Following worship, we will hear from several inquirers and candidates of our Presbytery as they pose questions and share their hopes for the Church for the 21st century.
Friends, I truly look forward to not only abide with you, but also to serve you in leadership one final time as Moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. It has indeed been my greatest pride and joy to serve among you. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
In humble service,
Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon, Moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia