We’re going to be okay

November 1, 2011

Louisville

A monthly column for the church-at-large by Elder Cynthia Bolbach, Moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This month, the column is written by the Reverend Landon Whitsitt, Vice-Moderator of the 219th General Assembly.

In the American psyche, November means “Thanksgiving.” Most of us travel home and sit around a table of “comfort food.” We take naps and watch football. Sometimes we go to a movie. Whatever we do, we do it with our family.

Sometimes we sit next to our weird aunt during dinner. Sometimes our uncle talks non-stop about his latest interest that no one else cares about. Politics are sure to come up and, sometimes, religion. In our family, those who did not prepare the meal rip through the dining room like a tornado, magically making everything spotless. Everyone has a role to play. Everyone brings a different flavor. And that’s what makes our families, our families.

It is around nine months until the 220th General Assembly (2012) convenes in Pittsburgh, and I am already looking forward to it. Although the analogy can’t go too far, when people speak of GA as a “family reunion,” I get that – deep in my bones. Present are people from across our country who have become kin to me. Calling someone a sister or brother in Christ means something.

And so, as I look at the four different persons God has called thus far to stand for Moderator of the 220th GA, I am thankful that we have been given such amazing people with whom to serve. When I see the ways each of them has served the PC(USA), I start to get a sense that, whatever happens, we’re going to be okay. As I survey their gifts, skills, and passions, I am confident that God has once again fulfilled the promise to lead and guide the Church and our little slice of it, in particular.

Sisters and brothers let us begin - in earnest – praying for the commissioners of the 220th General Assembly (2012) and the leadership that will arise from that group. Just like our families, God has given us these women and men, and we should take some time to be grateful for them.

Even if there is that one uncle who goes to the microphone and talks a lot.

Read the column in Korean. (PDF)

  1. Thanks for your metaphor "family" for our small branch of the Holy Catholic Church. When Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourself, however, he reaches far beyond kinship defined by blood or proximity. Surely Christ calls us to love (agape) the entire human family God has created and blesses, a family whose members embrace every race, every ethnicity, every corner of this planet. How may we obey when this human family includes so many weird aunts and so many uncle speak their minds arising from so many injustices, economic needs, and faith loyalties? How is the peace Jesus promises to leave with us, not as the world gives, possible and realizable? Soli Deo Gloria1!

    by Robert G. Newman

    November 8, 2011

  2. Thanks for this! I wonder if there could be a Spanish language version in addition to the Korean one?

    by Debra Avery

    November 1, 2011

  3. I am so appreciative of your leadershp and Cindy's too, a longtime friend and colleague in National Capital Presbytery But today as I read your column, I did feel "left out" as you set the scene of Thanksgiving as only a family affair - "blood family," that is. Yet so many of us in PCUSA are singles - even life time singles - whose close relationships have no family connections. We do have many good friends and we often form our own "holiday groups" with our own concerns and challenges! We do yearn to be included also in the thoughts and reflections of our Christian leaders on the challenges and joys and irritants too(!) of holiday time. Maybe someone of your acquaintance who is part of this increasingly growing group of church members might add a line or two to your otherwise fine message to us all. SHALOM!

    by Louise Winfield

    November 1, 2011

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