Reort from the National Church

223th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was held in St. Louis, MO on June 16- 23, 2018. This is the connectional church at work. No one church can speak as strongly to the issues of the day as we can together. Each congregation and each member must do their part but we are a part of the greater church and empowered because of it. These are days in which the voice of the church must speak truth to power in word and in deed.

during the 201 General Assembly (GA) Presbyterians marched from the convention center to the City Justice Center with $47,200 in donations collected during the opening worship of the GA. the money was used to bailout people incarcerated for minor offenses that could not afford to pay their fines or bail.

We addressed ways to address issues of climate change, immigrant parents being separated from their children at the border and gun violence.

The question that frequently was asked was – How do you put faith into action? That is the question that was wrestled with but also engaged in practical ways. Feet on the ground took food and provided services to people in St. Louis and began planning for ways to help during the 224th GA in Maryland.

When we gathered as the Presbytery of Long Island on June 26 we had a workshop about the issues of the “Me Too” movement. It purpose was to begin to equip the churches to be resources of help and healing in our communities. We also marched to the Islip Town House carrying posters and speaking to Newsday about the issue of children being separated from parents at the border. It is an issue of justice and mercy. Jesus was a refugee. God warned Joseph in a dream to take Jesus, just a toddler, and Mary and flee to Egypt for Herod was intent on killing him. There they took refuge until God told Joseph it was safe to return to Israel. Scripture tells us that: what we do to the least of these we do unto Jesus. Can you not see the face of Christ in these little ones and hear his cry?