Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy to be Presbyterian

I'm taking polity this semester, (church governance & PCUSA history) which is draining a LITTLE bit of the joy out of being Presbyterian, fun classmates notwithstanding. There are problems in our church... one of my friends was recently booted out of the ordination process by an unsupportive congregation... I could write the "unhappy to be Presbyterian" entry in honor of those who are still excluded, and in mourning over the congregations closing their church doors each week.
BUT even so, today when facebook informed me it was international "Happy to be Presbyterian" day I decided to be happy. I'm glad to be in a denomination that spans churches from my current "home" at St Andrew, a small congregation in a traditionally African-American neighborhood, where we sing traditional gospel, and say "amen" whenever we feel moved, and where we open the doors of the church (nearly but not always quite an altar-call) every week... to my current job at Montclair Presbyterian in Oakland, demographically much richer, where the men of the church still wear political slogan buttons from the 60's, and the sacred music is Bobby McFerrin, and where not all the teenagers in youth group even believe in God at all. I love the fact that these wildly different congregations are part of the same church, and that they gently pass me from one to the other and expect me to contextualize the good news of God in words that make sense to everyone from adopted 4th graders to octagenarian matriarchs. The Presbyterian Church (at its best) is diverse, varied, and seeking to speak truth to people in all kinds of situations. That's the church I love.


  1. Yeah. The polity stuff can be a tad draining and I feel you about the ordination process. I'm naturally quite a cynical sarcastic person, but there are definitely reasons to be happy to be a presybterian.

  2. The best is yet in store for you. I cannot say more at this moment.

  3. I've been having a hard time with being Presbyterian lately, for obvious reasons, but I'm hoping I will pull out of this okay. I've started to wonder if my love of the denomination stems from the fact that I was born into it or if all of the things I've loved about are real reasons to love it. I think that they are, but I still need to process some more.