THE THINGS THAT MAKE FOR PEACE
Many of us witnessed the powerful testimony for peace by the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Detroit, MI in 2012. The General Assembly moved forward on a number of matters, including the Palestinian call for peacemaking through nonviolence. It might seem that these issues hinge on votes by commissioners, but the truth is that it takes countless hours, even years, of prayer, deliberation, and faith-rooted advocacy earnestly seeking the will of God.
It is in this spirit of discernment that we encourage you to consider attending the 222nd General Assembly, which will convene in Portland, OR on June 18, 2016. You can help to continue to collaboratively build and bolster the prophetic voice of the Presbyterian Church to bring about just peace in a violent world. Together, we will attempt to pursue the will of the Spirit, being mindful of the various voices within the PC (USA) as well as those of our ecumenical brothers and sisters, and of our interfaith partners.
Now is the time for you to put your faith into action. Many Presbyteries across our denomination are looking for nominations for commissioners to the 222nd General Assembly. True to our Presbyterian polity you can participate in the peacemaking process by actively engaging potential commissioners, or perhaps by answering the call yourself, by contacting your Presbytery's Nominating Committee to place your name into nomination.
As Presbyterians we believe in the priesthood of all believers and we value the gifts of Ruling and Teaching Elders alike. In the process of discerning our call to ministry we can name countless people through whom we hear God’s call to ministry. We invite you to open yourself to the call of the Spirit to serve as a commissioner or to be the voice calling another to serve our denomination in this capacity as we continue “to practice boldly the things that make for peace." *
* This phrase is borrowed from the fifth peacemaking affirmation that is part of the peace discernment began by the General Assembly in 2010; "As disciples of Jesus Christ, we commit ourselves earnestly to seek and promote loving, nonviolent responses to conflict in our daily lives, in our communities, and in our world, and to risk calling our nation back from the practices of empire to the highest ideals of our heritage, and to practice boldly the things that make for peace."
Andries J. Coetzee, Pastor
Westminster Presbyterian Church
IPMN Steering Committee, Partnerships Chair
Commissioner, 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
353 East Pine Street
Wooster, OH 44691