Saturday, June 28, 2008

PC(USA) elect a blogging moderator - young and emerging too

The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow was elected moderator of the 218th General Assembly. Photo by Joseph WilliamsIt feels a bit crazy, but the Presbyterian Church (USA) don't elect their moderator until the week of their General Assembly. Might even be at the end of it. It's more of a campaign style of election - with nominated candidates answering questions in various forums and magazines, allowing the voters to find out a bit more about what makes them tick. Then at General Assembly, the candidates are officially introduced and get to give a short speech - their pitch - before a joint hour long question and answer session. Grill a Christian moderator-hopeful! As well as questions about how they will manage their home congregations with moderatorial duties (looks like they don't have a system of supplying a moderator's assistant), it looks like they were asked about their views on ordinating ordaining gay clergy, rural churches and also a bizarre googly ...
"Tell me everything you know about the gospel while standing on one leg."
Bruce Reyes-Chow was one of this year's candidates. A blogger, and someone pretty plugged into the online as well as the denominational world. I'd guess that it was his example that encouraged the other candidates to take their campaigns online too - they were all blogging by the end! Being away in France for a week, I'm way way behind in reading through blog posts in Google Reader. So it was only tonight that I discovered - to my joy - that Reyes-Chow had been elected as PC(USA)'s moderator for the next two years - To get the measure of the man, here's a quick quote from the beginning of his opening speech:
As I stand here before you today after having lived the life of “candidate for moderator” over the past six months, I can tell you that more than once I have said to myself, both out loud and in my head, “What are you thinking?” The very idea that I, this 39-year-old, father of three, earring wearing, pastor of some funky urban new church should or could stand for moderator is utterly ridiculous.
There's a short biography on the PC(USA) website too. Maybe the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will invite him across to Belfast for next year's General Assembly in Belfast. Congratulations Bruce ... good luck, and God bless.


Reyes-Chow said...

Okay, with all the talk about how technological I am, I am obliged to comment ;-) Yes, our GA was quite the experience in many good and difficult ways. Some left with deep sorrow and other deep joy. the next two years will be a trying time, but one that must be approached with a posture of hope. Even hope in what is not known. Thanks for the shout-outs and I'll see you around the blogosphere. - Bruce

Anonymous said...

Of course you commented! And you didn't even fix my husband's "ordinating" of ministers. You must be a man of grace! Anyway, you're courageous. Congratulations! (And commiserations to your wife and kids!:-) I hope your two years as moderator deepens your knowledge of God's grace, and helps the church and the world around us on that journey. Now.. I'm off to find your blog!