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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.

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August 4, 2014

August 2014 - YEA as a liturgical response

In August there will be a major change in my family’s life. My daughter’s family will be moving from our home to her new call as the college chaplain at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. This means that my grandson Dylan, who has lived with us since his birth in March of 2013, will be leaving our daily life. I thought I would share some things he has taught me these past months.

YEA as a liturgical response. Dylan says a loud Yea to preludes, hymns, prayers of the people, sermons and the passing of the peace. While I love saying the affirmative amen at points in the service, it is not the same as telling God YEA. Yes God I love singing about you. Yes God I love hearing stories about your love. Yes God please heal my friend and yes God thank you for creating these people. I think the word YEA should be part of the revised Directory for Worship.

WOW as an affirmation of God’s world. Ants are wow. Jets are wow. Things you can touch are wow. Things you should not touch, double wow.  If you want to rediscover what happened in Genesis walk a block or two with a toddler.  The beauty of earth is simplified and expanded. A bird does not just sing and fly but has potential for relationship. The whole created order may be groaning for reconciliation according to Paul. But it grins a little when it gets to introduce itself to a child.

UT-OH as a confession.  The discovery of gravity can be a challenge for any of us. The created order has some rules of its own. If you drop food off your plate it falls. If you are successful getting your shoes off it means it will take longer to get out the car seat. There are consequences. UT-OH acknowledges gravity and mischief. We do call it the fall don’t we. It also means that there is always a teachable moment. Parent to child. God to us all.


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Tags: change, children in church, gradye parsons, monthly column, stated clerk