The chanting of harmonious alleluias opened the thirteenth annual Voices of Sophia (VOS) breakfast at the 220th General Assembly on Tuesday morning (July 3), an event sponsored by Presbyterian Voices for Justice.

Sylvia Thorson-Smith, new co-moderator for Presbyterian Voices for Justice, spoke to the gathering, reflecting on the Re-Imagining Conference nearly two decades ago as she offered several points for the church as it moves forward into the future.

In remembering the Re-Imaging Conference, Thorson-Smith said, “Re-Imagining was chosen to point out that theological work is artistic work. God is imagined and re-imagined by many names.”

She went on to note the ongoing significance of the conference by saying, “What made Re-Imagining unique was that it marked feminism as a part of the church.” She also noted, “One of the things that made Re-Imagining so powerful was that for a moment we experienced a space as sacred. It was what many of us long for in the church.”

As Thorson-Smith looked ahead, she offered a number of points for the future of the church, including:

  • the need to create holistic, sacred space
  • giving attention to inclusive, expansive language for God
  • speaking truth to power about warmongering, sable-rattling, and more
  • recognizing the earth as an endangered species
  • building coalitions with other faith communities

The gathering ended with “A Song of Blessing” and the longing that everyone would have a place at the table.