Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Report on Joan Gray in Kingsport

Rev. Joan Gray, moderator of the PC(USA) was in Kingsport tonight. She offered a few words about her role as moderator since June 2006 and answered questions. She was great. She said things that made sense to me. She said the churches that are vibrant do stuff for other people. They invest heavily (time, energy, and money) in helping people in their neighborhoods. Kind of a no-brainer.

She also is a strong voice for campus ministry. She told us that she became Presbyterian in college due to campus ministry. Yet, every year we cut campus ministry funding. It is really not a good idea. Campus ministry is the most logical place for a denomination that embraces scholarship, social witness, and the integration of faith and mind.

We are fortunate that Holston Presbytery has a strong campus ministry at ETSU.

It was great to hear her. She talked about a couple of authors she thinks are helpful for the church to read. She talked about Anne Lamott, who found in the church, transformation, service, and a great deal of humor. Any of Ann Lamott's books are fun reads.

Rev. Gray also recommended Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transorming the Faith. Flycandler recommended this one to me on a previous blog post. If two good folks from Greater Atlanta Presbytery say I better read it, well then, by gum, I will.

After meeting her, I can easily see why she was elected moderator. She seemed to me to be a person who truly represents our ordination vow, "to serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love."


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