Introduction: Steve Shussett
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ Mark 16:7
As you prepare to go to the General Assembly, to tend to those in your care and serve the church as you are led, remember that Jesus is going ahead of us to Pittsburgh, and with eyes of the heart we will see him — in the poor, the different, those whose position stands in opposition to yours— just as he promised.
Scripture: Philippians 1: 3-6 (The Message)
3-6Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Devotion: As this year’s President of the Association of Executive Presbyters, I have the privilege of serving on a variety of committees and workgroup that meet via conference calls. One of the traditions of these gatherings is a time of “check-in” – a time to hear how each one’s ministry and personal life are unfolding. As we do this, I continue to be amazed at the sense of call our colleagues have to ministry especially in these challenging days. I am also humbled by the wonderful gifts, skills and passion that each “brings to the table” and how the discussions and decisions are enhanced by the wisdom of many.
I am also touched at the challenges that so many are facing and aware that a sense of isolation can envelop those of us in mid-council ministry. In spite of all this or maybe because of the nature of these times, the highlight of these meetings for me are our times of prayer – when we can lift up to God the joys, concerns, questions, confusion and hopes on our hearts. And these prayers include not only those on the phone call, but all who serve the PC(USA) and particularly you who serve mid-councils.
Even in these days, I am awed to have been called to ministry and particularly to this form of ministry. I am joy-filled that I am able to serve with you and remain committed to the many blessings of our connectional system. I am thankful that you persist in the midst of uncertainty and conflict and firmly believe that God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, may your grace abound as we prepare for, participate in and attend General Assembly. May your call to us as your servants be clear. May your wisdom and love prevail. And may you be glorified in the ordinary routines of our days and the ministry that we do. Amen
The Peaks Presbytery