Archive for August, 2015

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2015 16 August

What a Journey it’s Been – Moderator Gary Paterson

Posted in Steinbach United

What a Journey it’s Been

Hard to believe that my three-year ministry as Moderator is coming to a close… althoughGeneral Council still looms large in my thinking and in my dreams.

So, friends, this is my final posting, the last of over 165. What a journey it’s been.

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I have particularly appreciated these final 40 days, this prayer pilgrimage to General Council 42, and the opportunity to engage in conversations that matter. Many thanks to those who have been part of the journey.

We’re not there yet… so let us continue to pray for the church, not only for the commissioners and “online participants” travelling to Corner Brook, but for all that will happen during the meeting of the Council, and for all that will need to be done after.

As of Monday, August 3, I will have arrived on the Rock, off to a small hotel some 40 kilometres north of Corner Brook, to spend time in silence and in prayer, preparing for General Council. I’ll be pondering the questions that we’ve been travelling with:

  • What’s faith got to do with it?
  • What’s a good church for?
  • What do we need to let go?
  • What is our core purpose… and our core values?
  • How are discipleship and evangelism expressed in the “new church.”
  • What kind of leaders do we need? And how best to recruit, educate and support them?
  • How best to live out Jesus’ command to love God and neighbour…
    …and the neighbourhood, all my relations, the earth?

And I will be praying for the wisdom and strength to be fully present in the gathering, worship,and work of General Council 42. I will be praying over the various proposals and business that we must discuss, debate, and decide upon, all within the spirit of discernment, seeking to be faithful to God’s call into the future.

I will be holding fast to the scripture passage that I preached on when I was installed as Moderator – Ephesians 3:14-21. Over these past three years it has provided a focus for my personal prayer, and my prayers for our church:

O Holy One… according to the riches of your glory
I pray that we may be strengthened in our inner being,
with power through your Spirit,
and that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith,
as we are being rooted and grounded in love.

I pray that we may have the power to comprehend,
with all the saints,
the breadth, and length, and height, and depth,
of the love of Christ….
although it surpasses knowledge,
so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to God,
Who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly
far more than all we can ask or imagine,
to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus,
to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.