Written by Gradye Parsons
Each month the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Moderator or Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly write a column of general interest for the church-at-large.
The diversity of churches represented at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches together share the universal call to be faithful to Christ and to care about neighbor and planet.
That understanding resonated with me in the opening of the gathering in Busan, Republic of Korea, on October 30. More than 750 delegates from some 300 churches across the globe gathered under the assembly theme “God of life, lead us to justice and peace,” and opening worship included songs and prayers, some of which lifted up where we have fallen short of the goal.
The assembly theme speaks to the great call before the church to follow God and make disciples in Jesus Christ, and to dedicate ourselves to the great task of working as God’s change agents for justice and peace.
In his opening remarks, the Reverend Dr. Walter Altman of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil talked about the long journey toward unity, justice, and peace, and the ground that has already been walked.
“Thank God we don’t have to take the first step, because that has already been taken by those who went before us. We just need to understand where we are in the journey and move forward,” he said.
I find that to be a rich call to our work as Christians, congregations, and denominations. In a gathering with churches ranging from those founded as far back as the first century to those more recently formed, there is rich variety and diversity of character present. Yet at the same time, all are answering a universal call.
Please pray for those gathered here. Please pray thanksgiving for the wonderful hospitality of the Korean churches. Please pray that God will lead us to justice and peace.
Read more from the Stated Clerk about the Assembly.