From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 13:22:53


                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The Rev. Lori Zang Kosinski, whose term as chair of the 
General Assembly Council concludes with the upcoming General Assembly in 
Cincinnati, has recorded a message each month for VoiceLine, the 
Presbyterian Church's automated telephone information service, during her 
     Kosinski recently recorded her final message, reflecting on the work 
of the Council during the last year.  The text:            
     "Greetings in the name of Christ!  This is Lori Zang Kosinski, chair 
of the General Assembly Council.  This month marks the last opportunity for 
me to share this type of reflection with you as chair of the General 
Assembly Council.   In August, the Rev. William McIvor will begin his term 
of office. 
     "It has been a solid year of  work and deep awareness for the General 
Assembly Council.  It was my goal to give the Council a breathing space to 
get to know one another and gain a deeper sense of where God is calling us 
as we lead this great church of ours called the Presbyterian Church 
     "At the upcoming General Assembly, commissioners will have an 
opportunity to see the fruits of our labor and give us new insight for our 
future work on behalf of the whole body.  It will be a time of celebration 
as the new Youth Connection material is introduced and our initiative 
programs are updated.   
     "Two hundred new churches were planted in 1994: the eight sites have 
new mission volunteers working at them with our mission partnership 
programs.  St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are examining new forms of 
urban ministry and strategy, and our Institute for Christian Formation has 
opened its doors at Stony Point Conference Center, to name only a few of 
the things that have been done this year.  The refocusing of our efforts 
and the team building of staff and elected persons has brought 
transformation and renewal to our family of faith.  
     "In the last year it has also been my privilege to spend time with a 
variety of congregations, at various presbytery events and at a couple of 
synod meetings, learning more about our common witness to Jesus Christ. 
Again and again I have heard the stories of God's wonderful works and 
people's great concern for the future of our relationships with one 
another.  We are doing good things.  I hope that we will all continue to 
find more effective ways to share the stories of God's work in our midst.  
     "Get your church connected to PresbyNet [the denomination's computer 
communication network] or on the subscription list for  Presbyterians 
Today,' and you can hear these stories every day or month. Networking, 
information sharing and gaining access to new ideas is what reenergizes and 
renews the promises of faith as we create safe places for a broken world.  
     "It has been my experience that lasting change begins with an internal 
transformation and moves outward into the world.   I believe that the GAC 
has been undergoing such change in the last months. As elected persons and 
staff deepen relationships and a sense of their ministry, this new shape 
and form of our life together, we are more effectively  reaching out and 
grasping the potential that God has placed before us.   
     "We have been more intentional about listening for the voices of our 
wide and diverse family of faith.  We have learned to be more sensitive and 
open to the concerns of the whole church.    
     "As I leave office, I pray that we will continue to work at the task 
of discerning where the many gifts of members can be best used for the 
glory of God.  We have highly competent staff  and elected leadership all 
levels of this church -- pastors, elders, deacons and trustees; presbytery 
and synod executives and support staff; General Assembly exempt and 
nonexempt staff; mission co-workers around the world; and volunteers at all 
     "The time has come for us to draw together the strengths of our common 
love for Jesus the Christ in ways that will meet the needs of a broken 
world more effectively.  It begins with intentional relationships and a 
persistent desire for dialogue that will not go away in the face of excuses 
or differences.  
     "God's love for us will not let go.  It is time for us to live in ways 
that reflect that kind of staying power.  We have changed the structures; 
the time has come to share more visibly the deep love that abides in our 
     "The secret is out -- Presbyterians are a people of compassion and 
deep faith; we are people of joy and deep passion about things that we 
value; and we are a beacon of light and hope as partners with other 
Christian communions and believers worldwide.   May God richly bless each 
of us and those we seek to love as we move out into common ministry .  
     "Thank you for all that you have taught me in the last 13 months. 
Godspeed in your ministry."  
     VoiceLine is a service of PresbyTel, the toll-free telephone 
information service of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A variety of 
recorded messages is available on evenings and weekends, when PresbyTel's 
telephone consultants are off duty.  The number for PresbyTel and VoiceLine 
is (800) 872-3283. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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