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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Focus on unity

 

Speakers link God’s love, harmony in our dealings with one another

May 22, 2017

The love of Christ goes hand in hand with a spirit of unity in Christ’s church, two PC(USA) officials told a recent gathering of Presbyterians.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly were meeting in Puerto Rico at the invitation of the Presbytery of San Juan.

“Like a wedding, this is an occasion to celebrate love,” PMA Interim Executive Director Tony De La Rosa told the gathering. “This is an occasion to celebrate the love between our agencies, the denomination and most important, the love of God Almighty in Jesus Christ, who unites us.”

The Rev. Pablo Caraballo of the Southwest Presbytery gave a message focusing on unity within the church. “This unity must be manifested and active by love in church, communion in community, and faith, a table where we all share the bread and cup” he said. “In a unified church, the same hope is shared, love of Christ is known, and new humanity is formed.”

One of the ways to build unity, he said, is through listening.

“Listening is a way we relate to one person’s life story. It is commitment to respect the other person, giving full attention,” he said. “We listen with our ears, eyes, heart and head. We listen to words and observe body language, facial expression, tone of voice. Listening builds relationships and is necessary to direct unity within the church.”

Caraballo told the congregation that building unity also means learning from and loving each other in good and bad times.

“When you love, you affirm humanity. Humans are so important that God became human, which tells of God’s love, compassion and mercy for all humanity,” he said. “Love, compassion and humanity must be distinctive in the life of the church.”

Caraballo also urged the congregation to make forgiveness and reconciliation a way of life.

“Give yourself permission to be free of doubts, anxieties and worries that hamper unity of church,” he said. “The church is a living community of people of different genders, groups, sexual orientations. It is where ideologies coexist.”

Rick Jones, communications strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly meeting in Puerto Rico

Let us join in prayer for:

Synod of Puerto Rico
Northwest Presbytery
San Juan Presbytery
Southwest Presbytery

 PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

David Dobson, PPC                                                                                      
Annette Donald, BOP               

Let us pray:

Most powerful Creator and gracious God, be our guide. Inspire us to build unity and trust among your people. Teach us to live as you would have us live. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Daily Readings

Morning Psalms 97; 145
First Reading Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Or alternate First Reading Deuteronomy 18:9-14
Second Reading James 1:1-15
Gospel Reading Luke 9:18-27
Evening Psalms 124; 115