Thursday night in Queens

D8774CE4-167E-4F4A-8C08752FF132903E "You have the coolest job."

That was one of the closing comments to my time at the First Presbyterian Church in Whitestone. Pastor Andy James had invited me to visit during Lent and share about the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

That particular visit had to be rescheduled and last night was the night. It started with a great dinner at the SriPraPhai Thai Restaurant. A short driving tour of Queens followed and then we arrived at the church.

The members listened intently as I shared about the call of Jesus to engage not only in a personal faith and a faith that we live in the community of the faithful but a public faith – where we live our faith in our common life – the public arena – the global neighborhood.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations helps individuals and congregations live such a public faith.

We equip Presbyterians for global discipleship through:

  • opportunities to preach and teach and visit
  • creating prayers for special days and for situations in need of peace and justice around the world
  • promoting concrete expressions of discipleship such as the Red Hand campaign, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, the Tap Project
  • providing seminars to Presbyterian groups
  • hosting the Presbyterian delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women
  • partnering with Columbia Theological Seminary for a Doctor of Ministry course every other year

We advocate for peace and justice based on the positions of the General Assembly by:

  • building relations with UN programs and missions of member states
  • participating in working groups with faith-based and other nongovernmental organizations
  • arranging for Presbyterian mission co-workers and mission partners to meet with representatives of UN programs and member states
  • contacting missions of member states
  • working with Ecumenical Women to influence the Commission on the Status of Women

When I finished, we engaged in a good discussion. The folks at First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone are planning to create Red Hands (to call for an end to the use of children as soldiers) with their Vacation Bible School.

And then one of the members made the observation: "You have the coolest job!" Thanks be to God and to the Presbyerian Church (U.S.A.) and to those who provide financial support for the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations – I do.

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