13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” – Genesis 18:13-14 (TNIV)
It is hard to believe how quickly the past two years have flown by. Looking back on 250 blog posts, thousands of status updates and 24 months of service I am both humbled and inspired by the faithfulness, passion and vigor with which our denomination is seeking to be faithful to God’s call on our collective lives. As this journey began, both Byron and I understood that we would have a unique vantage point from which we would experience the church, but until one travels this journey it is hard to imagine.
With close to 175 events attended between Byron and myself over these past two years there are too many amazing communities to mention them all. Still, here is a sampling of the breadth and depth of the communities that inspired me as I attended events and gatherings:
- Groups of Presbyterians who gather around common passions: Covenant Network of Presbyterians, Presbyterians For Renewal, More Light Presbyterians, Presbyterian Global Fellowship, That All My Freely Serve and The Presbyterian Coalition.
- All engaged in the ministry with and for college-aged and young adults: Stillman College, Montreat Collegiate Conference, Atlanta Area Campus ministries, Warren Wilson College, Young Adult Ministries Jam, National Network of Presbyterian College Women, and numerous campus pastors, chaplains, camps and conferences.
- For congregations striving to be church faithfully in their communities: The Phoenix Project, Cleveland, OH; Steele Creek PC, Charlotte, NC; First PC, Mt. Pleasant, IA; Pullman PC, Chicago, IL; Calvary PC, Wilmington, CA; and First PC, Fenton, MI.
- For mission Co-workers, Young Adult Volunteers, Military Chaplains, Church Educators, Seminary Students, Commission Lay Pastors, General Assembly Mission Council Staff and those working with immigrant communities.
- For brothers and sisters around the world especially those who showed such hospitality to the Moderator’s Office: The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, Ecumenical Council in Hong Kong, United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the Episcopal Church of Haiti.
- For those who have engaged with the Office of Moderator through such social media platforms at Twitter, Facebook, Skype and more. It is a new day indeed.
From this brief sampling it is not difficult to see that God is poking and prodding us to trust that there is something new being birthed in the world. It is my hope that we will embrace that calling no matter how frightening and unbelievable it may be, after all, this is where we may best discover who God intends us to be.
As I end my term let me also thank the many people who have supported the Moderator’s office these past two years in more ways that can be measured and acknowledged especially the Office of the General Assembly staff, the Moderator’s assistants and the countless Presbytery and Synod folks who helped arrange and support our travel.
And finally thanks to my family and communities of support especially my wife, Robin, and three daughters: Evelyn, Abby and Analise (all of us with a hand on the Moderator’s Cross above); the church I serve, Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco and the extended communites in my life: school, family and online. Words cannot express my gratitude for your patience, grace support that have helped to make this journey pretty amazing.
What’s next . . .
- Please feel free to connect with the new Moderatorial Team: Moderator, Cindy Bolbach and Vice-Moderator, Landon Whitsitt. They are still getting settled in, but you can find them on their Facebook Page as well as on Twitter at @cbolbach and @landonw. For invitations and other moderatorial business, you can eMail the Moderator’s Assistant, Joyce Evans.
- As for me, if you would like to keep up with my future adventures feel free to connect with me on my blog, www.reyes-chow.com; on Facebook, BRC Page; or on Twitter, @breyeschow. You can also find Byron on twitter, @bawade.
- Lastly, one of my final moderatrial duties will be to appoint folks to a few committees, the first of which will be the Middle Governing Body Commission. There will be more out later as Cindy and I work out our process, but until then any interested folks should visit the OGA Website and fill out the application [HERE]. The Application DEADLINE is SEPTEMBER 1, 1020 2010. Please feel free to pass this along to any and all who you think would be good for this group.
This has been a wonderful journey, thank for the privilege to serve as your moderator and my the peace of Christ be with you all.
Peace – Bruce
*As of this post, this moderator blog is no more, so if you would like to get in touch with me, please do so via any of the above contacts for me.