In light of the various narratives about why people are leaving or should leave the Presbyterian Church (USA), I recently posed the question, Why do you choose to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA)? Here is one more person sharing why they are staying in the Presbyterian Church (USA) . . .
How are related to the PC(USA): Pastor
On Twitter: @andykort
Why do you choose to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA)?
I choose to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for many reasons. Among them is a deep sense of gratitude for the denomination I was raised in, that loved me and welcomed me into local communities of faith when my family moved around growing up whenever my dad took a new call, that cared and nurtured me as a painfully awkward teenager, that walked beside of me as I was discerning my call and saw me through the ordination process, that helped make my seminary experience the best 3 years of my life, and for providing me an amazing place in which to practice my life’s work and calling. PC(USA) has been very good to me, and I am grateful. So I’m staying.
I also realize it is not perfect. But what denomination is?What church is? What family is? If I left for “this reason” or “that reason,” surely there would be some new “other reasons” to eventually leave whichever new denomination I ended up in. I’d eventually just end up on an island by myself, with the only person I will ever agree 100% with–me. I cannot think of a single denomination that I agree 100% with. So, I love the PC(USA) warts and all. I’m not looking for perfection. If I was then the church is clearly the wrong place to look. And I’m not expecting to agree with every single decision or action made by such a large and diverse organization. That would be too idealistic. I’m a realist who appreciates it when church members who don’t agree with a session decision or a Sunday sermon do not just leave, but rather they stick it out in community with others. So I’m staying.
But if you ask me, PC(USA) gets much right too. I’m also in awe of the amazing work done by PC(USA) at home and abroad and in many local congregations. I’m inspired by the seemingly unlimited amount of talented, faithful, and grace-filled Presbyterian pastors, educators, musicians, and lay people that I continue to experience and who stretch me as I continue to grow in my faith. The people and the institution of the PC(USA) continues to make me feel drawn closer and closer to God. What more could I ask for? So I’m staying.