Baptism of the Lord Sunday 2013
January 10, 2013
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. . . –Isaiah 43:1b-2
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! On this Baptism of the Lord Sunday, when we celebrate our Lord’s beloved-ness and His call to reconcile the world, we renew our commitment to Christ’s commission upon us to serve in His name.
During Advent 2012, we convened a gathering of leaders and representatives from Covenant Network of Presbyterians, Fellowship of Presbyterians, More Light Presbyterians, NEXT Church, Presbyterian Voices for Justice, Presbyterian Welcome, and That All May Freely Serve at the Stony Point Conference Center in New York to share and envision our future together. We give thanks for the participation of these sisters and brothers, and the generous hospitality of Stony Point Conference Center. Through daily prayers, sharing of our faith and spiritual journeys, breaking of bread, candid and truthful conversations in love, we discovered two things: a mutual recognition of one another as sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ; the ability to be able to begin discussing the nature of our theological differences in the spirit of respect, humility, friendship, and affection.
We participated in the group process, witnessed the honest grappling with issues and realities confronting the Church, and heard the hopes and fears of our sisters and brothers. We came away profoundly grateful for how the proclamation of the Gospel for the salvation of humankind can occur in whatever context the Word is rightly preached and the sacraments are rightly administered.
We encouraged our sisters and brothers to continue their engagements with one another to deepen the bonds of friendship formed. We also are committed to convening a broader table of this discussion.
May God bless you in all the ways you serve the Lord in this new year. Join us in praying for one another and for Christ’s beloved Church as we seek to promote the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Rev. Dr. Neal D. Presa
Rev. Dr. Tom Trinidad