40 Years Ago — “Reunion is up to you”

40 Years Ago — April 26, 1982

Presbyterians, North and South alike, can have a new, united church if and when enough church people want it seriously enough to adjust their outlook and attitude. …

Any new policy or movement can be approached in one of two ways: 1) Emphasize the difficulties, the objections, and close the mind to anything favorable; or 2) With faith in a loving and wise [heavenly parent], envision the rich potentials and the opening to new life and witness with power for the church. One need not close one’s eyes to the negatives to face up to the new possibilities! …

“The time is not right.” “The adjustments are impossible.” “‘They’ are too liberal.” “‘They’ are too conservative.” It is so easy to find the negative opinions.

Explore the other side. Consider the latent capacity for dynamic witness and service. Above all, think how much more Christ-like Presbyterians could be in their own church life and in their concern to help the needy, searching world. …

God did not split Presbyterians, but determined [people] who were sincere, though misguided, did. Today [people], committed, far-seeing and willing to adapt the human shape of [God’s] Church can put the pieces back together again with God’s guidance and blessing.

[Note: The United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. united in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)]

From the article “Reunion is up to you” by D. Andrew Hovey