From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Assembly Preacher Soto Calls for Balance in Ministry

Date 20 Jun 1997 21:00:56

        Assembly Preacher Soto Calls for Balance in Ministry 
                       by Jerry Van Marter 
SYRACUSE--Decrying "a world of imbalance and polarization," Assembly 
preacher the Rev. Eriberto "Eddie" Soto told worshipers Friday that he is 
"saddest that instead of being a model for the world, the church instead 
reflects and imitates the world." 
    Soto, a Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican who is area secretary for South 
America in the Worldwide Ministries Division in Louisville, cited four 
reasons why the Presbyterian Church must maintain balance in its attention 
to spiritual and social issues.  First, he said, "such balance is the 
example given to us by Jesus Christ, who taught, preached and healed." 
    As a result, he said, secondly, "We are the body of Christ in the world 
today -- his hands, his feet, his eyes and ears, his voice."  If the 
teaching, preaching and healing ministries of Jesus are not carried on by 
the church they will not be done, Soto added, "because the only body Christ 
has in the world today is us." 
    Thirdly, he continued, a balance between spiritual and social concerns 
is "our Reformed tradition."  Noting that John Calvin was teacher, preacher 
and civic activist in Geneva, Soto said, "I am proud we are evangelical and 
ecumenical, spiritual and passionate about social issues." 
    Finally, Soto concluded, "Our partner churches continue to look to us 
as an example."  Citing several examples of vital churches in other 
countries that have been planted by the PCUSA, he said, "These churches 
have learned well -- they look first to Christ, but they also are looking 
to us." 

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