Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Moderator Responds: Part 5

I submitted five interview style questions to the Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly. It was his idea. I spread his responses out over five posts to avoid one really long post. This is the fifth and last of those posts and his responses.

More than any Moderator of the General Assembly before him, Bruce tapped the power of the internet, especially facebook and twitter, as well as podcasts, to communicate with the church prior to and after his election as Moderator. I think his strategy has in part opened up channels of communication in the church and changed for the near future how candidates for moderator and those elected Moderator will seek to get their message out. I thank Bruce for his willingness to answer questions and responding in a timely manner.

I plan to be in Minneapolis and blog from the General Assembly meeting next July, which means I also look forward to seeing and hearing Bruce bring down the opening Gavel and moderating the election of the next moderator.

The last question I submitted to Bruce was . . .

. . . when denominations seem to be diminishing in influence and for many are becoming increasingly irrelevant, why should anyone care about the future of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)?

To which Bruce responded . . .

I think post-50's denominational is right on, but I am still not sure that
denominations can be whole-heartedly dismissed. In a world where individualism
reigns, I think denominations can stand against this by reminding folks that the
body of Christ is larger than any one person or congregation. So we can still
care, but care so much we change.

Bruce Reyes-Chow,
Twitter: @breyeschow
209.910.4BRC (4272)
AIM/YIM: brucereyeschow
“Peace it does not mean to
be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in
the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Theologically, I agree wholeheartedly with Bruce that the body of Christ is larger than any one congregation. We find evidence in the New Testament of a connectional church with Christian communities sharing correspondence, sending out and receiving visitors, taking up offerings to help struggling communities, and supporting Paul. There is no such thing as a solitary Christian. Nevertheless, Denominations are a relatively recent phenomena in the Church, born with the Reformation. If the church is about to experience or is already experiencing a new reformation, who knows how our current understanding of denominations will change with that reformation.

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