As the Blue Angels roared overhead this past week, I was reminded that I myself am soaring out of the office for rest of the month of August, so I wanted to share a few thoughts before I begin my summer respite.
First--let's talk about our congregations. Perhaps our most exciting news comes from Kenyan Community International Church, as they now welcome their new pastor, Rev. Geoffrey Wanyoike (pictured above with Associate Executives Eliana Maxim and Kevin Nollette) from Nairobi, Kenya. You may recall that they have been without a pastor for well over a year now and are elated to welcome this incredibly gifted pastor from the Presbytery of East Africa. Rev. Wanyoike, has served churches large and small and will bring a passion for growth in faith and outreach. We also celebrate with our Vietnamese church as they begin the process of becoming a chartered congregation in our presbytery. I give thanks to God for the seeds that were planted years ago in the presbytery to form fellowships that are now becoming congregations. It is very possible that in the next three years, we will be celebrating the birth of three new congregations.
This summer will be a year of preparation and transition for many of our congregations, but especially for Calvary, Summit Avenue, Southminster, and Steel Lake as each one has welcomed new interim/transitional pastors. Let's keep them in our prayers as they seek God's direction for their ministry and for their community.
We continue to be reminded just how challenging these times are for us as a church as we reflect on this last General Assembly. On the positive side of things, we can see signs that the whole organization of the national church is beginning to refocus on the mission of the local congregation. In that spirit, 1,001 Worshipping Communities is a welcomed shift of focus for a denomination that has been over focused on administration. On the other side of things however, we're still struggling to find ways to honor our differences in the PCUSA. My hope is that in the next couple of years we can discover some new ways of being together yet distinctive within PCUSA, both nationally and locally.
Preaching and worshipping with the good folks was Rose Hill this past Sunday was a great way to head into a long vacation as I seek to unwind a bit after a very full year. (And keep your prayers coming for Rose Hill, Bethany and John Knox as they all hope to call pastors by the Fall).
Rev. Scott Lumsden