Friday, December 18, 2009

The Moderator Responds, Part 1

Responding to an open invitation from the Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly, I submitted to Bruce and posted on this blog five interview style questions for Bruce’s considered response. He has since responded and I will be posting his answers over the next few days. Thanks Bruce!

Here is my first question and Bruce’s unedited response.

. . . what has been your biggest surprise or greatest learning as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly?

"I have been surprised by very little. I think this is a great testament to how
we have understood ourselves to be and how "you" have raised me to understand
being Presbyterian. In many ways we knowing who we are is not the problem that
we are dealing with, it is who we will become that is causing so much tension
because we do not agree on that. The greatest learning however has been how much
folks have been willing to engage in conversations about the future of the
church, and not in ways that are about self-preservation and survival, but with
a deep desire to understand what God may have in store for us. I have learned so
much about people's commitment to listen for and respond to God. Truly amazing."

After reading Bruce's response, I wonder “Who will we become?” If God is the potter and we are the clay then we have no claim to shaping and forming our own future. God will make us into what God will make us into. On the other hand, do we not have some responsibility to choose which way we will follow, whether we will follow the way of life or the way of death? We have claimed the knowledge of good and evil and cannot give it back. Now that we have it we must exercise it. Perhaps what we will become is a synthesis of God’s perfect will and our imperfect will.

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