Profoundly grateful

June 25, 2012


It is with a bittersweet heart that I write this, my final column as Moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

I admit I won’t miss airport security lines one bit. But I will miss, very much, seeing first hand all that is happening in the PC(USA) and getting to know all of you who are, day in and day out, sharing in word and deed the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Over the last two years, I’ve witnessed the breadth and depth of the ongoing mission across our church. Folks in Charleston Atlantic Presbytery provide supplies and clothing for thousands of school kids. Children of migrant workers get medical checkups at health fairs set up and run by the Synod of the Covenant. An in-depth confirmation class continues over several months at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, to name three examples out of many.

I’ve also sensed some uneasiness about what’s happening in the denomination. Some months back, I read in the Washington Post about a metaphor that I think accurately describes where that uneasiness comes from. I’ve shared this metaphor before, but it bears repeating.

The metaphor was used originally to describe the decades-long project to turn the Pentagon into a modern, technological building while people continued to work there. The project leader compared it to turning a black-and-white television set from the 1950s into a flat-screen HD set without ever losing the ability to receive programs.

That’s what we’re doing. We’re retooling the PC(USA) from a denomination that was created during the 1950s and 1960s – a time when American society was predominantly Christian and Protestant – into a denomination that can proclaim the gospel in a post-Christian, multicultural society. Doing that retooling means great flux and change – which can cause uneasiness – but it is change that has to happen.

I’m excited over what lies ahead for a flat-screen HD Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Through God’s grace, we will continue to witness to the redeeming power of Jesus Christ in the world.

And I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have served as Moderator these past two years. No matter what lies ahead, my life has been enriched in so many ways.

Thanks be to God.

  1. I for one am very greatful for Cylvia and her leadership during these past two years you have been a blessing to the PCUSA and God's church. Thank you.

    by Cheryl Thorne. Ohio Valley Presbytery

    June 27, 2012

  2. Madame Moderator, you have led us and blessed us with wisdom, humor, and strength - and proven, without a doubt, that Elders Rule! What a gift.....

    by Susan Andrews

    June 26, 2012

  3. Kicking metaphor!

    by WIlson Gunn

    June 26, 2012

  4. Profoundly grateful, indeed-- for you. Blessings on your continued ministry . . .

    by Leslianne Braunstein

    June 25, 2012

  5. Thank you so much for who you are and what you have done this past 2years. May God bless you as you continue to follow him.

    by Gayle Schmidt

    June 25, 2012

  6. My good friend, and long time colleague in ministry, the PCUSA has been blessed with God's prescient choice of you to stand in the tension of "denominational retooling" for such a time as this. Since we're striving for a HD PCUSA, let's make it an 11,000 inch screen---deep and wide enough to capture the joy of mission of all our congregations and disciples. Again, thank you for being you.

    by Sterling Morse

    June 25, 2012

  7. It was a true pleasure to meet you and stand with you two years ago on the podium of the 219th General Assembly. You have served the church very well. I am thankful for your service, and pray for your continued well being. While I will be unable to be in Pittsburgh, I look forward to seeing the stream and watching you 'hammer the gavel'. Blessings.

    by Eric Nielsen

    June 25, 2012

  8. Thank you, Cindy for you leadership and service as we make this transition into the flat-screen world.

    by Sara Porter

    June 25, 2012

  9. Thanks be to God for Cynthia Bolbach!

    by Kathryn McCrary

    June 25, 2012

  10. dear God, we have been deeply blessed these years by our moderator Cynthia, she has given generously of her time and energy imagination and love to the church she loves ( and who loves her) for the work of the kin-dom. We ask your protective and loving arms to continue to embrace and sustainer her always, Allow her to receive the gifts of love, thanks and prayer pouring over her. Keep keen in us her vision of the church as we move into this General Assembly time. We thank you God for providing this Sister in the faith to lead us. Thanks Be to God, Bobbie Pastor, New Life PCUSA, ABQ, NM

    by Bobbie McGarey

    June 25, 2012

  11. ... And we thank God for all the gifts that you have, Moderator. And the graceful way you have shown us the way over the past 2 years. You continue to be in our prayers.

    by Daniel de Beer

    June 25, 2012

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