The 2020 Vision Team has released a draft of the guiding statement it will submit to the 2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – a statement built around five words tied to the PC(USA) acronym.
The 2016 General Assembly created the Vision Team, instructing it to develop a “guiding statement for the denomination and make a plan for its implementation with all deliberate speed.”
That draft guiding statement, released at the close of the Vision Team’s meeting Jan. 21-23 in Dallas, says that God is calling the PC(USA) to be:
In the draft statement, the Vision Team spoke briefly of its process, saying: “In the faithful desire to discern the will of God we listened throughout the denomination and beyond, hearing hope and frustration, expectation and anxiety. Along our journey even when it is hard to see the way forward, God has spoken and continues to speak to us in these times and places.”
It’s expected the 2020 Vision Team will report to the 2018 assembly, but keep working through 2020.
Here is the text of the draft statement.
Draft Guiding Statement
Our Reformed heritage understands the power of words and we humbly offer this guiding statement as speaking truth and declaring life.
The 2020 Vision Team was mandated by the 222nd General Assembly and charged with developing a guiding statement for the denomination as it moves into the future.
In the faithful desire to discern the will of God we listened throughout the denomination and beyond, hearing hope and frustration, expectation and anxiety.
Along our journey even when it is hard to see the way forward, God has spoken and continues to speak to us in these times and places.
God calls the Presbyterian Church (USA) to be:
- Confessing our sin before God and to those we have wronged, we accept our responsibility for the brokenness in the world and in ourselves. In Christ we are assured of forgiveness and freed to forgive others.
- We ask the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us as we actively listen to Scripture and fully engage in the joys and challenges of life in this present world.
- In Christ we are bound together by grace, cleansed in the waters of baptism, nourished at the Lord’s table, and sent out to share the Good News.
- Reformed and always being reformed, we follow the Holy Spirit in new and imaginative ways to places we have not yet been.
- We foster the hope of reconciliation in Christ that brings healing to individuals and communities, which transforms the world.
- We work for God’s justice and peace for all people in every land, prioritizing the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the abused.
- As members of the Church universal, we are Christ’s disciples, called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- Against forces that seek to divide, Christ compels us to bear witness to a love that sustains community across great differences.
- Striving to love all of our neighbors as ourselves, we approach others in a spirit of openness and trust as we follow Jesus Christ in respecting the freedom of other religions, worldviews, and traditions.
- As followers of the One who washed his disciples’ feet, we listen to and serve our neighbors, working to meet their practical needs.
- We partner with others to become the hands and feet of God in the world, showing compassion and generosity to all creation.
- We venture beyond the familiar, meeting people where they are as we share Christ’s transformative love.
- We are a people of the resurrection: though death surrounds us, we are not afraid because we follow the One who was raised from the tomb.
- The Holy Spirit gives us courage to build a community that reflects the fullness of God’s image in humanity: beautifully diverse and no longer divided by age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexuality, physical and mental ability, geography, or theological conviction.
- In the sure and certain hope of resurrection, we testify that the Church and its members are called to follow Christ’s model by risking all, even life itself, for the sake of the Gospel.
And so, God calls the Presbyterian Church (USA) to be: Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving, Alive.
Thanks be to God.