More than 20 energy-filled singers of the Kenyan Fellowship Choir in brightly-colored native dress marched in to open Friday’s worship service at the 219th General Assembly.
The culturally and theologically blended attendees filled the auditorium amidst the water-as-life-themed decorations.
The sermon, on the eve of the conclusion of this assembly, offered a summation of the church’s actions and sentiments of Presbyterians around the world.
Guest preacher the Rev. Ruth-Aimee Belonni-Rosario, association director of admissions, Princeton Theological Seminary, centered her message, “Are We Rivers of Living Water?” on the state of the church.
“All water comes from the same source: God. The church now is made up of small bodies of water separated by theological beliefs … If we are able to become one body of water, we will be able to be stronger and nourish the world,” said Belonni-Rosario.
“However,” she continued, “If that water is contaminated by dividing agendas and judgments, then we are not able to give life to the world.
“Polluted water is not just dirty – it’s deadly,” Belonni-Rosario emphasized.
Belonni-Rosario stressed that “We need to stop talking us-versus-them. We are the church, and we need to be one church … (full of) diversity, and one church for all life.”
The service postlude, performed in traditional Kenyan, was “Ungiona PC(USA) guki uhoro no murathime,” or “When You See PC(USA) Here, This Happening is Blessed.”
Assembly-goers give generously! Offer total from Sunday’s worship service: $33,189.58
The offering will be distributed to the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW); PC(USA) Office of Collegiate Ministries; Presbyterian Student Advocacy Leadership Team (PSALT); Presbyterian Student Fellowship (PSF); and Presbyterian Clearwater Forrest.
Offering total from ecumenical worship service: $5,632.31
The offering will be used to support young adult ecumenical formation with the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and to support relief and development work of Church World Service.