"How do we serve an unchanging God in a changing world?" asked Dr. O when he gave the devotion at the session meeting yesterday. Using scripture from Malachai and Hebrews as his basic texts, he referred to the controversies in the PCUSA over ordination standards and the divestment resolution of the last GA.
Dr. O is one of the most respected leaders of the congregation. A native of Nigeria, he studied in London and New York City. Formerly on the staff of one of the local medical schools, he is now in private practice as an internist. He raised four children of his own as a single parent and three children of deceased friends who named him guardian. No stranger to personal tragedy and the difficulties of life, he radiates a solid and joyful faith in Christ. He is one of the most Biblically literate people in the church, thanks to the Canadian Presbyterian missionary school he attended as a boy in his native village of Ututu.
It was clear from his presentation that he is anxious about the scheduled September report of the Peace, Unity and Purity Task Force of the PCUSA. What recommendations will it contain? Will he see them as Biblically-based or based on the demands of the changing culture around us? How will it affect our local church and presbytery if the recommendations are adopted by the GA in 2006? How will he and each member of the congregation choose to respond? Through his devotional, Dr. O encouraged us all to turn to personal study and prayer to seek answers to these questions.
Surely there are similar discussions, devotionals and prayers being offered at sessions across the country, regardless of their point of view on these issues, as the PUP Task Force report is anticipated. Meanwhile each church does its best to continue "serving an unchanging God" through its ministry and mission in the place where it has been planted.