As we approach the 2019 General Assembly, Canadian Presbyterians are facing changes and challenges. We are also facing historic, watershed decisions. The Moderator-Elect for the 2019 General Assembly, Rev. Amanda Currie, faces a deeply anxious, deeply divided denomination. An interview (both online and on radio) by CBC was recently released, and had some subsequent corrections, notably in the nuance of title from “leader” to “moderator”. The content of the interview focused primarily on reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples and ecumenical relations. There was mention of the human sexuality debate that has captured the denomination in recent years. We encourage all Presbyterians to both read and listen to the interview.
We exhort all to be deeply engaged in prayer as the 2019 General Assembly meeting draws near. Regardless of one’s concurrence with or divergence from the personal beliefs of any given Moderator, our primary responses are to be prayer, respect, and the “courageous humility” of those who deeply trust the power of the Triune God, far beyond any human institution. We are a people who profess faith in the risen Christ, who stand on the Scriptures as truth, and who pray for renewal. Let us not doubt any of these things, but have great confidence in God, who is at work, who is faithful, and whose plans and purposes will be done.
- Let us pray for Rev. Currie, our Moderator-elect, and as followers of Jesus Christ, ensure that our actions, attitudes, and speech are respectful both of the office of Moderator and Rev. Currie herself. Let us pray for her to have deep discernment, a listening, faithful, and fair-minded approach as she moderates the meeting and as she speaks, writes, and represents not only the Presbyterian Church in Canada, but our Lord Jesus Christ, in many settings over the year ahead. Pray for Amanda’s husband and the congregation at First, Regina, as the year ahead will hold many challenges and opportunities.
- Let us pray for the Clerks of Assembly to be wise, to listen well, and to offer gracious wisdom to the Moderator. May they work out of compassion and courage, and an ongoing to desire to serve the whole Church.
- Let us pray for the Special Committee of Former Moderators, who have embraced a difficult assignment with grace, prayer, humility, and hope. Let us pray that they, their report, and any recommendations will be treated with respect, thoughtful reflection, and equally thoughtful responses, not simply reaction.
- Let us pray for commissioners to the General Assembly to listen well, to show respect to one another, and to trust in the Lord with all their hearts as they debate and decide. Let us be in prayer for the power of God’s Word and His presence to move upon the hearts, minds, and souls of everyone present.
- Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to stir deeply the hearts, minds, and souls of all in our denomination, that the name of Jesus Christ will be honoured and lifted up among us.
- Let us pray for ourselves, that we will keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ, and not grow weary, angry, or anxious on this journey. Let us walk by faith, not by sight, and let us so live that the light of Christ shines through us, drawing everyone to Himself. May our words, our actions, and everything we might write or post be a reflection of Jesus Christ.