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by Marj CarpenterAs usual, Marj Carpenter speaks her mind -- and she has earned the right to express her opinions.
"Many of you have heard me preach that I am “sinfully proud of being a Presbyterian.” After each General Assembly I ask myself “Are you still?” And the answer is always yes—even after attending 27 straight.
I never agree with all the decisions made, but I still come away Presbyterian. I’ve always been proud of our historic heritage in forming the United States. I know the break-aways always try to claim this “as well” but they can’t quite pull it off.
And all of you who have heard me know there is one thing I consider the most important of all – mission, mission, mission.
In our history we have been the Protestant denomination that opened the most mission fields. And we’re still doing it. We don’t always have the most missionaries out there but we go in first when it’s really tough. I only wish we could concentrate on that—taking the gospel into all the world, to all nations, including our own.
Many churches we have started around the world have a difficult time understanding some of the decisions we come up with at our Assemblies. That’s all right. I have a difficult time understanding them as well. But I am still Presbyterian and nobody will run me out of my church, which I firmly believe is still taking the message of Jesus Christ into the world. ..."
She is one of two recent moderators who have distinguished themselves by their clear and effective support of Mission (the other is the immediate past moderator, Rick Ufford-Chase). While the two do not always agree on other issues, they are united in their advocacy for getting out in the world and following Christ. And I think both would agree that our effectiveness is adversely affected by all the things that divert us from mission.
Thank-you, Marj, for calling us back to our duties.
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