Presbyterian Mission Agency The fruit of righteousness will be peace

Presbyterian Mission Agency The fruit of righteousness will be peace

General Assembly and the formation of our testimony

by Rev. Philip Woods, Mission Crossroads | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Salt Lake City, Utah, is the site of the 226th General Assembly, which begins next month. (iStock photo)

Next month we will gather again in General Assembly, this time in Salt Lake City, where, according to our ecclesiology, we will discern the Spirit’s leading for our time as we consider how we organize our lives and witness as the Presbyterian Church (USA). ).

As part of this, we will consider many approaches (proposals) from presbyteries raising issues and concerns that they believe the Church should speak out or take action on today. A large part of our work in World Mission is the decisions the General Assembly makes regarding these overtures.

At the 225th General Assembly in 2022 (the General Assemblies are held every two years), the Assembly encouraged us to support and defend our global partners in situations of conflict; recognized that Palestinians live under a system of apartheid and called on us “to seek appropriate ways to end Israeli apartheid”; and made a number of recommendations on our support to the Democratic Republic of Congo, supporting human rights in the Philippines, responding to the human needs of those affected by the violence in Cameroon, responding to the depleted uranium situation in Iraq , ending the siege in Gaza, which responds to the needs of the Syrian people, advocates for a Korean Peace Treaty, expands our engagement with Eastern Europe, promotes peace in Ethiopia, and denounces Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. The General Assembly also directed us to explore a “global covenant” to facilitate ecumenical cooperation with global partners who serve with us in the U.S. with their diaspora communities here, made a number of recommendations on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, and has called on us to care about and integrate
responses to climate change in our global relations.

This is a substantial agenda that we have faithfully pursued and will report on at this Meeting, having woven it into our routine work of traveling with partners around the world, much of which reflects these concerns. Listed in this way, they remind us how widespread and deep the problems of this world are, and how we must stand up for our neighbors, as Matthew 25 shows us, which tells of the judgment of the nations.

It also speaks eloquently to the theme of this issue of Mission Crossroads. With more justice in this world we can also discover peace, and with peace we can all flourish.

At the time of writing, it is still too early to know exactly which issues will be discussed at this year’s General Assembly. But there are certainly plenty that deserve our attention right now.
We are ready to respond as part of our commitment to stand in solidarity with our partners as we journey with them and they with us, and as they share our concerns about life here in the US, which is a very different story than the General meeting. will undoubtedly speak too.

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The Rev. Philip Woods is associate director of global strategy and program for the Presbyterian World Mission.