Up in the Air — A Personal Perspective in Mid-Flight Over and Above the 220th General Assembly

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

What a blessing to stand with fellow delegates and colleagues at this year’s General Assembly! Like a jumbo jet revving up its engines in preparation for takeoff, gaining momentum upon acceleration down the runway and setting its trajectory upward at the sky, the commissioners who gathered with others on the renewal partners’ team this month flew and drove into southwestern Pennsylvania, standing firm together in faithful witness to the Word. With the Spirit’s empowerment, we witnessed God’s faithfulness prevail amidst the assembly’s deliberations through committees and in plenary session.

While I continue in recovery upon reentry from the aftermath of serving as commissioner to GA220, I am at the same time feeling somewhat “up in the air” about all that transpired and am in the process of discerning even more intensively, it seems, following such an exhaustively productive, if enervating experience.

As the pastoral letter from Presbyterians For Renewal (PFR) following the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Pittsburgh, PA states:

The PC(USA) “train” has left the “station” of orthodoxy and is headed into an undefined future where, seemingly, anything is possible. Individuals and congregations who are skittish about the risks and challenges of transferring their affiliation to a different denomination must understand that continuing on with the PC(USA) is not for the faint of heart
either. In the decision of affiliation there is no status quothere is no easy path. The only question is where is God calling you to engage in ministry? [Emphases added.]


This is not at all what many of us expected where we would be at this point as a denomination. Those among us commissioners who were of a more conservative, evangelical bent were initially anticipating that Christian marriage would be redefined and that divestment from companies engaged in business involving non-peaceful pursuits affecting the Israel/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East would be approved. Instead, these initiatives among others were held at bay.

“If nothing else, [I believe] this Assembly confirmed the [critical] role of The Fellowship of Presbyterians in maintaining the unity and integrity of an evangelical and Reformed witness across denominational lines.”

As such, I urge us all to strengthen our resolve in prayer for God’s wisdom to preside upon our leadership’s deliberations in the process of discerning the Lord’s will concerning His church.

May the Lord meet us “up in the air” as we pray for safe landing under God’s sovereign grace.

Together in Christ’s Service,

Pastor Rex

~ by prayersForMelissa on July 19, 2012.

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