From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
General Assembly Ends with Hope in the Future:
PCUSA NEWS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
22 Jun 1998 00:35:02
Reply-To: wfn-news list <email@example.com>
General Assembly Ends with Hope in the Future:
Youth Help Lead with the Light of the Gospel
by Allison Politinsky
CHARLOTTE--Dancing angels, singing choirs, and commitments of faith by
youth of varying racial/ethnic backgrounds graced the stage of Hall C where
the final worship service of the 210th General Assembly was held Saturday,
The youth and symbols of hope offered by contemporary songs and
liturgical dance lent an air of peace as the last day of business was
before the Assembly. Peter J. M. Henry, associate pastor, Myers Park
Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, N.C. offered the sermon, "The Light Has Not
Yet Gone Out." Henry explained that even in an age when computers keep
information moving at lightening speed, even in a world plagued by
problems, the Gospel offers a light of hope for all humanity.
"The proclamation of the Gospel seems a bit audacious," in the
information age of CD Roms and other items of high technology, he said.
"But, young people in part, and everyone in general, can use these tools to
learn about the history of the Church."
We also cannot hide from past mistakes the church has made. The horror
of the Crusades is easily accessible. Missionaries, in some cases, made the
mistake of not understanding that God was in the cultures they were
visiting before the missionaries arrived. That is true from a global and
"We often confuse the proclamation of the Gospel with the proclamation
of the Presbyterian Church," Henry said. "There is a profound difference,
but I'm not always sure we're aware when we go from one to the other."
He listed several of the sorrows for which the world needs God's light:
Twelve Presbyterian churches with ordained clergy in Charlotte-- only
one is a woman.
In the city of Omaha, Nebraska with a population of approximately
350,000 there are
documented gang members totaling 2500.
Crack cocaine is on the rise in middle class youth around the country.
Some who believe in God can turn to other spiritual avenues such as
Philadelphia has high schools with security detectors to protect
Women and children are the fastest growing population of homeless with
an average age of
"Are our youth facing darkness in this lifetime?" Henry asked. "Do
they need the proclamation of the Gospel? Absolutely."
Referring to Martin Luther King's sermon "A Knock at Midnight," Henry
related the theme to the needs of our youth today. "When our youth are
knocking in their midnight we must fling wide the portals and call all the
children of God into our midst."
Even in the darkness of our contemporary society, Henry affirmed, there
is much evidence of hope.
"Some youth are reaching out and accepting Christ," he said. "Twelve
thousand youth participated in Montreat and the Youth Triennium last year.
They gather to worship, to proclaim and to learn about the risen Christ."
Further evidence includes:
The new Montreat West Retreat Center in Colorado
The Presbyterian Youth Connection
Mission trips range from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine
"There are so many youth like this who want to serve," Henry concluded.
"The light is going to them all around our country. Let's finish the race
set before us. Let's challenge ourselves and ask questions about what we
do and how we do it....There is a crack in door of the church, the flood of
light illuminates the landscape."
There are ways the church is proclaiming the Gospel beyond youth, Henry
The new communion with other denominations is the great first step of
There is an increase of $1.6 million to our mission budget.
More than 400 Presbyterians gathered for a national redevelopment
challenged our church to find new ways to harness the power of the
"The light has not gone out in the darkness of the world," Henry
concluded. "Although we are involved in a marathon, not a sprint, the
light has not yet gone out. If that is the case, let us take it out to the
world that is not in darkness....Let us be prepared to proclaim the Church
and Gospel of Christ. It is a Gospel of peace, forgiveness, mercy, and
good news. Let us preach it so it will be a lamp to the Children of God.
That is our commission from Christ in one of the Great Ends of the church
in which we worship."
An inspiring prayer led by James Wilson, a recent graduate of Princeton
Theological Seminary, emphasized these thoughts in a closing message:
"Eternal Lord and King, we offer our prayers and supplications for
humanity. Ethnic hatred appears in our midst. We pray your light will cut
through the evil hatred of humanity. Allow the leaders of our countries to
stand for justice and righteousness. We must build one another up instead
of turning one another down....The economy may be booming and stocks may be
rising, but still there are those in our midst who go without....Replace
homelessness with helplessness, loneliness with faithfulness, rid our
society of ills that plague this land....Light of Christ within us. Replace
exclusiveness with inclusiveness and boldness with humbleness. Oh God our
Eternal Lord and King allow us to witness to each other your wisdom, grace
This note sent by PCUSA NEWS
to the wfn-news list <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Send unsubscribe requests to email@example.com
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .