Presbyterians CAN clap
And many of them are young
Today was day one of the General Assembly. The day began with “Riverside Conversations” where we had a chance to talk about the church. The conversations were good – and many points were brought up. For once, it was not the typical “gloom and doom” conversations. Yes we spoke about lowered attendance, diminishing funds, members and congregations leaving, but we also spoke about spiritual hunger, a need for biblical literacy and the need for all voices to be heard (more about that later).
After the conversations we met for worship. And, boy did we worship. Starting with one of my favorite hymns “Holy, Holy, Holy”, we sung. It always puts shivers down my spine when a large group of ministers and elders sing. Especially when we sing to God’s glory, believing every word we utter.
As worship went on, we sung some more, heard God’s word, heard God’s word proclaimed, and celebrated the Lord’s Supper. And then we sang some more. And that is when I saw it. Presbyterians were clapping. Yes, Presbyterians. You know, the “Frozen Chosen”, the “Old White Haired, Mainline Dying Denomination”. We were clapping IN RHYTHM TO THE MUSIC. We can do it. And then I looked around again – there were young people present! Youth Delegates to the General Assembly. Young seminarians who volunteered to serve. Young pastors and elders. People who were not AARP members!
Yes our church’s average age is “really old”. Yes most of our congregations are 62 or above. But today I saw young people singing with the rest of us. And not only that, we spoke with each other. As fellow delegates. As colleagues. As brothers and sisters in Christ. And their voice was the same as my voice – as it should be.
Today I witnessed something important in the life of the church. And today I had the opportunity to meet a couple of “Youth Adviser Delegates” – sitting next to them, talking with them and welcoming their advice for the future of the church.
Today was a wonderful day for the church. Rejoice and be glad.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come