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Vision 2020 Team turns to wristbands and a composition competition to publicize its message

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

More than 1,000 wristbands calling Presbyterians to be Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving and Alive will be distributed during Presbyterian Youth Triennium next week. (Photo by Rich Copley)

LOUISVILLE — The Vision 2020 Team is using every tool and upcoming event at its disposal to remind Presbyterians that the team’s guiding statement for the denomination matches the PC(USA) acronym: God calls the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving and Alive.

Meeting by conference call Thursday, team members — some of whom met face-to-face in Louisville this week — fleshed out plans to distribute more than 1,000 wristbands during next week’s Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Some pre-selected youth will be asked to hand over a wristband and a card explaining the team’s guiding statement to anyone they see exhibiting any of the five qualities. Presbyterian News Service plans to document a handful of those interactions.

Together with the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Vision 2020 Team is holding an anthem composition competition. A $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to what’s deemed the top original and unpublished sacred anthem. Additional cash prizes will go to the second- and third-place finishers.

Anthem submissions must support the Vision 2020 Guiding Statement, found here. Entry deadline is Sept. 1. The winners will be notified by Nov. 1.

Beginning in September, team members plan to bolster their social media presence. They’re also developing a Bible study to support the guiding statement. In addition, Presbyterian Mission Agency artists are designing a logo symbolizing the five guiding qualities for the team; they plan to have options available to the team in the next two weeks or so.

During Thursday’s call, team members discussed confusion they’ve heard between their work and the Matthew 25 invitation. At least one member, DèAnn Cunningham, a ruling elder in the Presbytery of Charlotte, calls the team’s guiding statement and the other resources under development “a call to action for us to pay attention to what the Spirit is saying to us. We are all common ministers. There are those few called specifically to that work, but every last one of us is a minister.”

She said she’s hearing from people “who want this magic statement that fixes everything,” a “New Age quick-fix we can move with.”

“That’s not possible,” she said, “because we don’t serve that kind of God.”

The team will continue its monthly conference call meetings and will next meet in person in Louisville over the Labor Day weekend.

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