From the General Presbyter
Today I was on a Zoom call with Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, the Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, who talked about being a “Matthew 25 Church,” a new posture of the PC(USA) based on the named text, but more importantly, how we engage the “isms” of our society.
I listen to the words of our leadership. However, the brakes squealed in my soul as Dr. Moffett asserted, “Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” Her context; how this COVID-19 has closed our church buildings and forced us into this present age. As the saying goes, “the church is not closed, just the building.” But let’s look at this. How are we the church right now??
We can give lip service to the building closure, because somewhere deep in the psyche of some – this too shall pass. But for some of us, this will not pass so easily. Under truth serum, some of our folks will prefer virtual church. We also realize we are reaching folks outside of the traditionalism, or the dogma. For some and for me, this is exciting and new and the Spirit is helping us reach our folk and new folk. So, do we leave the new people at the proverbial door once the buildings open? More truth serum, some folk would say yes, yes we do, because we want our traditional church back.
Shame on us. Not for wanting the experience that our beautiful sanctuaries afford us in drawing near to God, but for being so anxious to open the building that we become careless in the consideration of the vulnerable – like refusing to wear a mask or keeping our distance. Not for wanting to be with our friends, but for not “making disciples” in an age where racism is roaring back in the news of police misconduct and vigilantism. Not for wanting a hug from our community, but for abandoning a fruitful online presence which provides community for those who are unchurched or may not return because of the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Friends, as we journey let our traditionalism be the building block of a rich history, not a stumbling block for what God may be calling us to do in this new time of loving one another and showing Christ’s love in our communities.