Dear Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church,
I know that the greeting above is a mouthful – the word Presbyterian alone has five syllables. It’s a lot to fit into a greeting, or even to say when we tell others about our community of worship. More importantly, in recent years, it seems like our Presbyterian name has been associated with a lot of conflict and even some bad news. There have been many times when papers have talked about Presbyterian churches and their disputes over property, sexuality, investments in conflict zones or particular industries. It might lead us all to wonder whether keeping the name (let alone saying it out loud) is still worth it for us.
My answer is, “Yes.” There is much about our Presbyterian traditions that I value, and a wealth of inspiration and encouragement in our current network of connections that I celebrate. As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – the protest movement from which our way of practicing Christian faith sprang – we have an opportunity to remember what makes our way of being faithful special, and of envisioning whole new ways for our traditions to be life-giving in our times.
I hope you’ll join us over the next few weeks, as we dig into some of the letters of Paul. His ideas formed much of the foundation for much of our protest and our path forward! See you in worship at 7:50 a.m., 10 a.m., or 5 p.m.
P.S. This Sunday is our monthly Red Barrel food drive which feeds hungry people in our community served by Sunnyvale Community Services. Consider donating canned meat, vegetables, fruit, pasta, soup, peanut butter, rice, beans, powdered milk, and cereal. Please do not bring glass containers.