ST. LOUIS
Joan Gray, former moderator of the General Assembly, at the Ruling Elder luncheon at the 223rd General Assembly.

Joan Gray, former moderator of the General Assembly, at the Ruling Elder luncheon at the 223rd General Assembly. —Photo by: Michael Whitman

Ruling elders from across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) met on Wednesday to hear about how to be spiritual leaders from the Rev. Joan S. Gray, who spoke at the Ruling Elder Luncheon, sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly.

Gray, moderator of the 217th General Assembly (2006), focused on how ruling elders can “put up the sails” and let God direct them toward the future in a time where congregations now have anxieties about being sustainable.

Gray advised elders to rely on the Holy Spirit to help with a solution.

“We’re hitting a wall today on the way we’ve done church for a long time,” Gray said. “If we’re going to continue to operate on a basic human level without the wind of the Holy Spirit of the church, we will not be sustainable. It’s time to reconnect with the source of the power. It’s time to reconnect with God and the Holy Spirit.” 

Gray stressed patience and said that God will be able to provide when needed.

“We have to be willing to let God be God,” she said. “Let go of our agendas and let God do what God wants to do. If God wants to provide, he will provide. If he wants it to be done, it will be done. If he doesn’t provide, then it’s not the time — not the time right now at least.”