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Mission Engagement & Support
It’s little wonder that Hussam Qumsieh dreams of peace.
Perhaps no two words excite Jocqueline K. Richardson more than the two she now sees on nearly every line of Stillman College’s Student Life webpage.
In the words of Nat King Cole, “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.”
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to being a Matthew 25 church that is actively engaged in the world, making a difference in people’s lives and in our communities. Some may believe being a Matthew 25 church that eliminates, once and for all, the root causes of hunger, poverty, oppression and injustice is an impossible task. After all, the church has been trying to do so for over 2,000 years.
Some might say that the Rev. Clay Macaulay built his own “Field of Dreams.”
How many times have we winced as an older, wiser sage reminds us to “look on the bright side,” to consider the “other side of the coin” or to “look for the silver lining”? Cringeworthy platitudes to be sure, but wisdom worth considering.
In the late 1980s, when I was serving as a youth group leader in my local congregation, my pastor invited me to attend a gathering that I recognize now as the early stages of a new movement for youth in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Even as I was being drawn headlong into the phenomenon that was — and still is — the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, I had no idea how the lens through which I viewed the PC(USA) was about to change.
Recently, the Office of the General Assembly released the 2020 annual statistics report showing a decline in membership last year at just over 56,000, which is about the same loss rate as has been reported since 2016. For 2020, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) counts a total membership of about 1.24 million members, with the total number of congregations at 8,925.
For at least a year, if my memory can be trusted, that singular refrain punctuated our daughter’s every sentence. “Mama do.”
Once, during a rare visit to our North Carolina home from my family in New York, the precocious toddler’s words even coaxed a laugh from my usually stern father, who wondered aloud how I ever managed to get anything done.
When it comes to addressing the injustices and disparities experienced by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the United States — laid painfully bare by the nation’s double pandemic of COVID-19 and racial unrest — the Rev. Cathi King knows one thing for certain. And that is, she knows nothing for certain.