Mid Council Relations | March 13, 2017
I pursued field education at the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) because I was seeking to understand and get close to what I would have called at the time, “the heart of the PC(USA).” As a cliché, first-year seminary student, I anticipated marching in those double doors each day to a new, eternally important task and single-handedly helping the denomination experience some sort of transformation.
While I have been here over the past five months, I have been humbled and grown a deeper sense of the urgency with which we do ministry. I’ve been assisting the denomination’s manager for immigration issues, Teresa Waggener, curate a resource for individuals and congregations feeling called to the work of accompaniment. I have helped plan and prepare worship at the Polity Conference, learning that there is no trick a room full of pastors hasn’t already seen and still the Spirit devotedly moves as the Spirit wishes. And most recently, I have been working with a team on a constitutional musing in the area of validated ministries.
Through these projects and others, I have slowly been learning what was surely taught to me in my confirmation class at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas: the lifeblood of the Presbyterian church has never been strictly holed up in a cubicle in Louisville, Kentucky. It is in our congregations and our neighborhoods, our schools and our communities.
The heart of the PC(USA) rests in believers who have been transformed by the good news that Christ overcame darkness, hatred, and death so the Spirit could send us out to be doers and proclaimers of this strangely radical hope. The Presbyterian Center might look particularly Presbyterian with its seals and Book of Orders, but it is our collective witness that defines our denomination. We are the ministries happening across the globe in Christ’s name.
I have learned that ministry is not a solo endeavor; there is a reason Christ sent the disciples out in pairs. When we are following God, we need people in our corner, supporting us, taking our phone calls, and implementing the convictions we espouse at General Assemblies, in our homes, and in our pulpits each week.
To me, that’s what we do here—assist local churches with our shared task of ensuring the denomination is faithful to the gospel. In five short months, I have recognized that the PC(USA) is wider and her polity more beautiful than I had ever imagined, and the eternal work we are doing together is greater than any one particular church or office.
Grace Hellweg is serving as a field education student intern in the Office of the General Assembly for the 2016–17 academic year. She is a first-year student at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is an inquirer under care of the Presbytery of Carlisle.
“Everything You Want to Know About Using CLC”
March 28th, 2:00–3:00 p.m. EST.
This webinar is for presbytery staff, PNCs, and COM liaisons. Participants will be provided instructions in how to use CLC to support the call process with special instructions in well-written MIFs and evaluating PIFs. Register for this webinar.
“CLC for Call Seekers”
March 29th, 2:00–3:00 p.m. EST.
This webinar is for call seekers, CPMs, and seminary placement officers. This how-to webinar will provide instructions in effectively using CLC to search for calls and writing PIFs. Register for this webinar.
The General Assembly Nominating Committee seeks your help in finding individuals, particularly ruling elders, persons of color, and/or young adults, to be considered for Co-Moderator appointed service on the following special entities:
- Rules of Discipline Task Force—Item 06-14—222nd General Assembly (2016)
- Racism Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—Item 11-12—222nd General Assembly (2016)
- Special Committee to Study the Reformed Perspective of Christian Education in the 21st Century—Item 14-12—222nd General Assembly (2016)
The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly will also appoint persons to the Task Force on Implementing Child/Youth/Vulnerable Adult Protection Policies.
For more information with descriptions of these entities, please go to http://oga.pcusa.org/section/committees/nominations/; or to apply online http://ganominations.pcusa.org/accounts/login/?next=/. For more information, contact Valerie Small at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mid Council Financial Network 2017 conference, November 15–17, 2017 (start with breakfast on Wednesday and end at noon Friday) at Hotel Maya, Long Beach, California 90802. Registration information will be sent out in July.