Sunday, April 15, 2018



This was my first time attending a Presbytery meeting. Pastor forwarded the link for meeting “docket” two day ahead, there was also a new resource document available, and so I scan through them. It had a summary of “Reform Theology” in it, interesting. -- I hope this is one of the subjects to solicit comments and feedbacks, not a top down faith reference, because some of those theories are actually outdated. Pastor Lindsay later assured me it is, as a new section of resource. I really think this is a sign of healthy church body – always reforming according to the Word of God!

The Presbytery met at Cornerstone Church on Saturday morning. After a welcoming word from pastor of that church, there is a worship service, totally modern style music, immediately brought people’s spirit alive. There were many seniors in the crowd; I suspect that not everybody enjoyed this style of singing. The most relevant part of this worship is Rev. Joe Sohn’s sermon, on building a “disciple making church”.

PC(USA) congregations are facing the challenge of declining membership. Rev. Joe said we are not making disciples as we should. We focus on attendance, building, and cash, but we are not telling new visitors what the good news of Christ is. When visitors come into our church, how long will it take for them to hear Jesus’ died and resurrected for them to have new life with God, and be invited to participate? How long for them to experience Jesus’ life changing power with us? We need to make plan to intentionally build relationship and share life with new visitors, Rev. Joe said.

Cornerstone Church tried Alpha course, which runs in format of small group, where non-believers are invited to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view. After a year’s Alpha course, they recently have one person ready to be baptized. I cannot help but think we Foothill small groups are a great potential for people to build relationship, share life, learn from Bible, and make disciples.

There was an action item in this meeting, for the Presbytery to validate a female candidate Molly Logan’s ministry and examine her for ordination. She is taking a position in Stanford University, to minister in a multi-faith campus to students. During the examination, she was asked about how she understands “sanctification”. She basically seemed saying, this is a process; I am a mess but okay to continue to serve. I don’t think that was a good answer, but I am not sure if the person who asked knows a better answer, or anybody care what the answer was. One person objected to ordain her, but I didn't understand what the issue was. Any way the motion carried, and I am really happy for Molly.

There is a church made a motion about prevent gun violence. They suggested we concur with a Maryland church “overture”, to post signs such as “No Guns in God’s House” on buildings, watch films that made aware of gun violence, open conversation in nation-wide communities, to help enact sensible steps for gun violence prevention. I see a church body that is in action to be relevant to public life.

In the meeting I learnt that San Jose Presbytery declared itself a “Sanctuary Presbytery”. Director of PACT (People Acting in Community Together) Akemi Flynn shared what happens to undocumented immigrants in our neighborhood: a working person with no criminal record would be targeted to arrest and deportation, separate from his family, if he/she doesn’t have immigration document. Peace and Justice Task Force of San Jose Presbytery sponsored a lunch talk, to explore how to respond. How individuals small groups and church congregations can take resources back to educate church community. (However I didn’t find them.)

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