Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Meeting the Moderator of the PCUSA

One of the strangest things to every other denomination, must be our Presbyterian Polity. We have no leader. Well not exactly, we elect a "moderator". He has almost no power. His main job is to moderate (act as chairperson) the General Assembly when it meets, then until the next General Assembly, just wander around the world, being the public face of the denomination. No moderator ever gets reelected, he can do little to influence decisions at the GA. All in all, a very strange way to pick a leader. But very Presbyterian, (we are Calvinists, we know the utter depravity of "man", we are reluctant to give much power to one person).

Tonight, the moderator came to our neck of the woods, not that there are too many woods in Sunnyvale. About a hundred people, all Presbyterians, sat down, ate dinner, then spent about one and a half hours listening to the moderator speak, & ask him questions. Not too many soft balls. We live in a demonination that is seriously dysfunctional.

The moderator is a liberal. He still pines for the virtues of the Sandanistas in Nicaragua. He has been very active in efforts to smuggle illegal undocumented workers, & very concerned about the welfare of said human beings as they die in the desert. He spoke well of every hot button political issue of the left. He offers no credit to Bush for freeing 20,000,000 people, he is still sure the war was wrong. He defended the stupid anti-israel policy of the last GA, trying to sound conciliatory, but clearly happy at being awarded a prize from a Moslem group for "peace".

He is a good speaker. He handled himself well. He read from Exodus about the Israelites bickering. I could see he emphasizes with Moses, when the Israelites complained. This inspired the following poem, which also speaks to us today.
The question:
How do we know God's will?
We Ask:
Which Rock

Lord how do we
find the rock
you call us
to strike?

Which rock?
How do we know?
How do we hear
your command?
(Exodus 17:1-7)
Inspired by Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator, PCUSA, September 27, 2005
© Presbypoet, September 27, 2005

God Responds:
Go Strike the Rock

Be not afraid.
I am with you.
Lead the elders
into the desert.
Trust Me.
I will provide.
Listen to Me.
Go to the rock
I will show you.
I will lead you
where I need you.
Go forth.
Inspired by Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator, PCUSA, September 27, 2005
©Presbypoet, September 27, 2005

While he and I agree on little politically, we share the same deep roots in the PCUSA. For either of us to leave, would be painful. We represent the two main branches of this dysfunctional demonination. He calls for vision. He wants to lead us into the future. He talked about reaching the next generation. How painful it will be to change.

The real questions:
Is God speaking to both of us?
To one of us?
To none of us?
Going into the desert, it seems awfuly dry.
Where is that rock?

I know God is present.
Will we listen?


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