“And The Journey Continues”
Companions on the journey, I greet you with a very heavy heart and troubled spirit in the wake of the unthinkable: another church shooting, this time a Baptist congregation in Sutherland, Texas. It goes without saying that as members of the Body of Christ called the Presbytery of Philadelphia, we stand in unity and solidarity with our neighbors in Texas, New York, Las Vegas and around the world against the senseless violence that continues to rip apart families, snatch innocent lives, sow seeds of discord and polarize our nation. These atrocities are yet more signs of a broken world that stands in need of healing and wholeness. What shall we say to these things? With the prophet Habakkuk, we continue to cry in concert: How long O Lord, how long?
As we conclude this year of celebrating 300 years of mission and ministry, in the wake of these and other challenges facing the Church, perhaps as never before, we must continue to pray for and with our neighbors victimized by human and natural disasters, continue to promote social justice and righteousness, and continue to exhibit the kingdom of God here on earth.
As we forge ahead, “preparing for what is next,” we have been given our task: to stay rooted and grounded in the faith to which we have been called, “like a tree planted by rivers of water”, (Dr. Craig Barnes, reflecting on Psalm 1) and embrace the Holy Spirit of God who enables us to continue our faithful witness “even to the ends of the world. These were His last words.” (Rev. Denise Anderson reflecting on Acts 1:6-14).
Friends, in just a few short days we will gather for the final meeting of this, our 300th Year Anniversary Celebration, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ambler, 4 South Ridge Avenue, Ambler, PA 19002-4792. We begin the day at 2:00pm with two Pre-Presbytery conversations: “Budget and Beyond” led by Elder Larry Davis, Business Administrator, and “Can We Talk About It?” Immigration Beyond the Rhetoric, led by Rev. Ruth Santana Grace, Executive Presbyter and Rev. Kevin Porter, Stated Clerk.
At 3:00 pm, the business meeting will be called to order as we ask God’s blessings to shower upon us as we tend to the ministry and mission to which we have been called. We will: receive the report from our Leadership Collegium reflecting Good News of the ministry and mission throughout the regions, celebrate the faithful witness of First Presbyterian Church of Bridesburg, and receive 2018 Budget.
With much joy we will elect new members to Standing Committees and Commissions, Commissioners to the 223rd General Assembly, and elect the Moderator and Vice-Moderator of our Presbytery. We will also consider the re-election of the Reverend Kevin Porter to serve as Stated Clerk for another 5-year term.
With thanksgiving and praise to God, we will celebrate the faithfulness and dedication of Elder Larry Davis, our Business Administrator who will soon retire after many years of service to the Presbytery.
We will then dine “spiritually” as we gather together for worship where we will be inspired by melodious music from one of our Princeton Seminarians, and empowered by the Word of God from the Reverend Dr. Frank Spencer, President and CEO of the Board of Pensions. Afterwards, we will dine “physically”, as we gather for dinner to be strengthened as we prepare to affirm God’s calling upon the lives of candidates to be examined for ordination in our Presbytery.
As you can see, a full docket awaits us; but by God’s amazing grace, it will be a great day full of faith for the journey and hope for the future, as we continue to bear witness to the love, justice, and peace of God, through Jesus the Christ.
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon, Moderator