In case you do not receive the publication of Presbyterian Lay Committee, here is the "Other Voices" piece, What’s a moderator to do? that was included in the October 08 edition. As of the the date of this post I have not yet seen it online over at The Layman Online.
First, let me thank the Presbyterian Lay Committee for inviting me to submit some thoughts as the
current Moderator of the PCUSA. It has sure been quite the journey thus far and I thank the many of you who have shared your prayers, passions, disappointments and affirmations with me over the past few months.
As we begin this journey – and I do hope to be invited back again – let me first say that I am under no delusions that there will be many who read this who agree with my stance on ordination. I might even
be so bold as to assume that there are many who will simply not be able to embrace me as their moderator now or ever. I very much understand that reality and for those who have shared as much, I greatly respect your faithful discernment of Christ’s call upon your life and willingness to take the time to share your thoughts personally.
But still I press on striving to be faithful to how Christ is calling me to be in this important time in our
denominational life. And while it would be silly for me to think that we will agree on every issue of the faith, let me be very clear about where I think we can find common ground.
Our common ground must be laid upon the salvific nature of the life, death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we cannot affirm our life as a Christ-centered, God-created and Spirit-lead community, then we, my friends, are done already. I personally do not think we, as a whole, have reached that point. Yes, some will disagree because of decisions made at GA – including my election – but please know that there are a great many people across the theological spectrum that are engaging in conversations about our future denominational life with great care, passion, openness and diligence.
Above and beyond what the PCUSA will look like structurally in the future, these types of interactions
should give us great hope. I say this because if we can enter into conversations, at least acknowledging that the other is being faithful – remember that even faithful people can be wrong – then we have
accomplished two things without even trying. One, in this political climate, we model passionate, but respectful discourse that rises above our natural inclination to demonize and, two, we each can make decisions about our congregational and denominational life knowing, if not respecting, how the other may have arrived at their own decision.
It is my greatest hope that in any way possible and appropriate to the duties and responsibility of the
Office of Moderator, I can be a helpful part of these interactions in a way that will be meaningful and healthy. In fact, I hope and pray that is how each of us would approach the conversations about our future life as brothers and sisters in Christ.
As always, I would invite you to subscribe to my blog/website, www.mod.reyes-chow.com where I am chronicling my two years as moderator.