Presbytery Meeting – Moderator’s Report
|Audio Version of Presbytery Moderator’s Report|
by Paul Williams
I have been involved with presbytery for a long time, having been elected to my first presbytery committee in 1965. I have been to a LOT of presbytery meetings. As I reflect, I find myself remembering something President Eisenhower said: “Things are more like they are now than they ever have been before”.
But if there is any one consistent strain, one thing that is just as true now as it was 50 years ago, it is this: the presbytery isn’t defined by a set of rules or a committee structure – it is defined by relationships. The essence of who we are is found in how we relate to one another as sisters and brothers in Christ
So along that line, I’m going to invite you to do something that I try to do at every presbytery meeting, and that is this: before you leave here today, introduce yourself to one person who you have not met before. Make the acquaintance of a fellow presbyter and, if you have time, find out a little about him or her. I think you’ll be glad you did.
There are a lot of good things happening in our presbytery. Since we last met I have, on your behalf, participated in the ordination of Cara Ellis serving as children’s pastor at Grace church in Plano, the installation of Chad Presley as pastor at Westside church in Fort Worth, the installation of Kate McGee as pastor at Westminster in Arlington, and the installation of Paul Burns as pastor at First church in Garland. These are joyous occasions and I have been privileged to be a part of them.
We have also had SHYC, the gathering of almost 500 high schoolers and sponsors at Austin College, the biggest such presbytery youth event in the PC(USA); and Living Denominationally in Anxious Times presented by Dr. Paul Hooker from APTS, the first of the Conversations in Theology & Practice series; among many other activities around the presbytery.
Later today, we are going to welcome and recognize some teaching elders; recognize a new certified Christian educator; examine some candidates for the offices of teaching elder and commissioned ruling elder; and celebrate an inquirer becoming a candidate in preparation to become a teaching elder (we have something more than 30 of these folks now in Grace Presbytery). We will also hear reports from some presbytery committees, groups of committed people who we have elected and who give freely of their time and talents to do specific tasks for us and who, along with our dedicated and hard working presbytery staff, ensure that the presbytery’s ministries are carried out.
And we are going to debate and vote on some amendments to our form of government. Our son, who is a church historian, is fond of saying that Presbyterian polity can be summed up in one sentence: All of us are smarter than any of us. When we debate, we are not contending as adversaries but rather discussing as friends, not seeking to win but seeking the mind of Christ, and I submit to you that it is holy work.
Sisters and brothers, God is at work in Grace Presbytery. I am thankful for that, and I am thankful for you.