Last night I finally finished my questions for the Commissioner Info Booklet. Unlike outside organizations, these are questions that come from the Office of General Assembly each year to help commissioners get to know the candidates. Each candidate chooses 5 out of 10 questions to submit along with a personal statement. Each response is to be 500 words or less and the pages would be printed just as formatted. The booklet also includes each of our choices for Vice-Moderator.
As I began to gather my thoughts a few weeks ago, the immensity of the task really started to set it. I found myself struggling to focus my thoughts and express my ideas in ways that felt real while embracing the reality that, if it is to be, I would be moderator of the entire church, not just those snarky, wise-cracking, young upstarts that I usually hang out with. When folks eventually see me responses, my hope is that it will be clear that I am a little of both: a snarky traditionalist that loves the body that raised him, but yearns for faithful transformation.
Despite the inner wrangling to be effective and compelling in my responses, in no way did the process damper my excitement and sense of call. In fact, this part of the journey has given me more reason to believe that, grounded by our rich heritage and tradition, we need to be radically open to what God has in store for the Presbyterian Church (USA).
This is pretty darn exciting.
Here at the five questions that I chose, the sub titles and the order in which I answered.
- WHO ARE WE? // What is your sense of where God is leading the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at this time in its history?
- WHO ARE WE BECOMING? // In what new ways can the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) and its congregations place a focus on ministry to and with
youth and young adults to ensure a church for future generations?
- HOW WILL WE GROW? // Our church’s Ecumenical Vision Statement reminds us that, "The unity of the Church is both God’s real gift and God’s effective calling." How would you work for unity within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and how would this contribute to the unity we seek with other churches and Christian communities?
- HOW WILL WE BE LEAD? // What suggestions do you have for identifying new directions for
partnership between congregations, presbyteries, seminaries and the
General Assembly in preparation for ordained ministry?
- WILL FORM FOLLOW FUNCTION? // The Form of Government Task Force was created by the 217th General Assembly (2006) to propose a revised polity that would be more flexible, more foundational, and more appropriate for a missional Reformed Church in the 21st century. What do you think about these proposals.
Once the booklet is made public, I’ll go ahead and post my responses here. Also, soon I will post my choice – and rational for choosing him/her – as candidate for Vice-Moderator.