What the Moderator is Seeing and Hearing

When I read PC(USA) GA Moderator Heath Rada’s report to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, I found a few things to agree with, a few I would dispute, and a bunch to think about.

It might be tempting to dismiss this report as “inside baseball,” and honestly, the details of the report aren’t all that interesting. The audience was a board meeting of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and they’re not the general public, or even a local congregation. But without focusing on the details, maybe there’s something to be gleaned from the topics he discusses:

1. Young people are returning to the church.

2. Outsiders accuse us of not believing in Scriptural authority and Jesus as the one path to salvation.

3. Our global mission programs are exemplary.

4. Our UN and Washington offices are similarly admired.

5. Our relationship with the Jewish community is strained.

6. Gay-marriage issues: “I am no longer seeing this as the defining issue of our church.”

7. Communications. “We don’t have a website that is working for us like we need.” (You don’t say.) “I don’t know how to tell someone in a few sentences who I am as a Presbyterian.”

8. Funding. “Why are our programmatic funds not also increasing?”

9. Form and Function. “Is the PC(USA) set up to function in the most effective way to meet the needs of our denomination in 2015?”


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