Hey friends –
True confessions: I don’t usually look to Presbytery meetings for inspiration…but the one we had this week – wow, just WOW! Two things rocked our little Presbyterian meeting…
First, the inspired preaching of The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), and, notably, the first African-American in that position.
Dr. Nelson is a gift to the church – he’s a life-long Presbyterian (pastors in the family go back three generations!) who is pastoral, humble, prophetic, Jesus- and neighbor-loving, justice-seeking, engaging and inspiring. Acknowledging that our denomination has shrunk from over 4 million members to 1.3 members now, Dr. Nelson urged that a church beset by worry needs to remember: “The church belongs to the Lord, and we belong to the Lord.” I loved it when he said: “We’re not dying; we’re being reformed!” What a good word for us at First Pres., huh?!
Our Presbytery meeting was also rocked by the commissioning of Alexis Ruhumuriza as Commissioned Lay Pastor of the New Hope Revival Congregation, a multi-ethnic outreach to people of mostly East African descent that is nested at Bellevue Presbyterian Church. Man, what an energetic ball of fire Alexis is, full of the Holy Spirit and hope! He exudes trust and joy in Christ. When the New Hope Revival Band led us in singing songs in various African languages, the Presbyterians actually cut loose! It was kind of crazy – and pretty special!
This Sunday we’ll take another look at what it means to follow Jesus through the lens of Mark 1:14-20. Come ready to engage the word together – a word that calls, transforms, and gives life!
I’m so glad we get to do this together!
Be the church!