John Wilkinson for Moderator of the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA)

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For those who are Presbyterian, many probably know that the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA) starts in just under 2 weeks. And one of the first things that happens at GA is the election of the new Moderator (and Vice Moderator). I still remember being in San Jose when Bruce Reyes-Chow was elected, and what a fun occasion that was because Bruce is a friend and someone I really respect.

So, I experienced a similar feeling last fall when I got an email from John Wilkinson, asking if I would design a website for him, as he was going to be standing for position of Moderator. I’ve known John for awhile, as he is the pastor of Sarah’s home church, Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. I’ve been impressed with John as a pastor, but also as someone who is really invested in thinking about the future of the church (evident by the fact that John was on the organizing team for NEXT Church).

Logo-FooterAnd then I was equally excited when I heard that John had invited MaryAnn McKibben Dana to serve as Vice Moderator. MaryAnn is someone I’ve partnered on some projects with, and is a very important, young voice in our denomination.

I’m not a commissioner to GA this year, but if I were, I would look forward to being able to cast my vote for John and MaryAnn, because I think they are a powerful team that will help guide the denomination over the next two years. If you want to learn more about both John and MaryAnn, take a look at some of the links below:

Partners in the Ministry of the Gospel

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This sermon was preached on May 25 at Winnetka Presbyterian Church. My text was Philippians 1:1-18a. You can listen to it, and read it, below.

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So…I have preached on this text twice before. The first time, it was my last sermon for the church I served in California. The second time, it was my last sermon for the church I served in Oregon.

Just so you know, I’m hoping to not continue with that trend…

It felt like an appropriate passage of scripture to share with both of those congregations, because they were my partners in the ministry of the gospel…and I did believe that God, who started a good work in those congregations, would stay with them to complete that job…many of the same things that Paul felt toward the Philippians.

This letter of Paul’s to the Philippians is often referred to as the letter of joy. We can certainly understand why it would be called that hearing some of the phrases that Paul uses:

  • “I thank my God…”
  • “I’m thankful for all of you”
  • “it’s always a prayer full of joy”
  • “I’m glad…”
  • “I feel affection for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.”
  • “I’m glad…and I’ll continue to be glad.”

He sounds pretty joyful for someone writing a letter from jail. But it’s not necessarily that he’s joyful because of his circumstances (though, you could make the case that he is – he does say that even more people know about Christ now that he’s been in jail). But more than that – I think he’s so joyful because of the way in which the Philippians, the people of the church, have partnered with him, have taken care of him, and have been working in the ministry of the gospel with him.

And so – as I was reading this passage, I kept being drawn to these two verses about partnership:

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WPC Searching for Part-Time Director of Children’s Ministries

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In the spirit of crowdsourcing and getting the word out to as many folks as possible, I wanted to let you know that Winnetka Presbyterian Church, the church I am privileged to serve, has now begun a search for our next Part-Time Director of Children’s Ministries. If anyone knows someone in the Chicago area who might like to work at a really wonderful church in Chicago’s North Shore, with an amazing staff (obviously…), you can send them to our website here. Thanks for helping to get the word out.