LOUISVILLE (Outlook) – J. Herbert Nelson, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), preached during opening worship at the Presbyterian Mission Agency board meeting Sept. 13.
“We’re in this for God’s sake, not our own,” Nelson said, preaching from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. “The church belongs to God. We belong to God. We are not our own vessels.”
He called on Presbyterians to be “risk-takers for God almighty” and spoke of the work Presbyterians have done in Colombia to accompany those working for peace – saying young adults want a church which stands for justice, that works to create an ecumenical and interfaith witness so people can be set free in this country and around the world.
Speaking of ongoing of divisions in the PC(USA), Nelson said the church’s internal disputes all have something to do with the unanswered questions about “how we are going forward, and what does it mean to be the church in the 21st century?”
Nelson said: “We need each other. We need each other. It is not about who is the biggest and the baddest and the best of the six agencies. We’re one church.”
And later: “It’s time to come together. It’s time to be God’s church. … If we learn to live like this, we will shake up this world.”