Call to Prayer for the 222nd General Assembly (2016)
June 18, 2016
Henry was way past 80 when I first met him. He had not attended our congregation for many years because of his wife’s illness. Although I tried to visit with them often, it was not until she was hospitalized that Henry and I had regular conversations. Henry had been a deacon in this congregation almost 30 years previously. One of our conversations led to the solution for a maintenance issue that had puzzled us for a long time.
I can’t promise you that I am always a good listener, but I do know it is a very important part of being church. The life of the church is focused on words spoken, heard and sung. We hear and bear each other’s stories of hope and fear, success and struggle, love and abandonment. We dream dreams about our congregations. We experience hurt from some failure of trust broken. Our hope gets dashed. Our zeal squashed. Yes, all these things happen in the life of the church.
But where do we go from there? This has always been the issue of the struggling church. Is it possible that folks who have hurts and folks who have hopes can be in conversation together? Can people who believe in their church and people who aren’t sure anymore talk together?
There has been an effort to create a listening moment in the life of this church, to discuss the identity of the church together. You can find information about it at oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/join-conversation/.
The 222nd General Assembly (2016) will take the information from those discussions and chart next steps for the church. I invite you to gather together with sisters and brothers in the PC(USA) to pray that the assembly will discern the mind of Christ and a way forward for the denomination.
Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of sound and silence, please give us hearts, minds and spirits that can listen. Help us to hear your Spirit’s words to us as we discern our way forward as a church. Help us to hear the voice of Christ calling us to follow with no looking back. Help us to hear a world crying for the gospel and for justice. Help us to listen to our neighbor with no filters, no judgment and no selfishness. Use the General Assembly of the PC(USA) to be your tool to create a world that reflects your realm on earth. Amen.