It is with great sadness that I inform you that we have lost a dear friend, classmate and a wonderful minister of The First Presbyterian Church of Howard Lake. Pastor Myra Carroll-Pezzela was called home to God, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. She will be deeply missed, please keep her family in your prayers at this difficult time. Click Here for Myra's Obituary page...
Located July 16th, 2011 Passed Away September 4th, 2011
Living in Buffalo, MN & Working in Howard Lake, MN
Life is about change. We are constantly experiencing new things, learning new things, and watching our lives change. Every change we experience affects how we understand ourselves and the world around us.
The Church changes as well. People come and go; children grow; staff move on to different opportunities; biblical studies evoke new understandings of scripture; and the Church reaches out in the world to meet changing needs. As Presbyterians we are a part of the reformed tradition. Our motto is, ďReformed, and Always Reforming.Ē We are being reformed, and transformed, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Most of us donít like change. Whatís ahead is unknown and the unknown scares us. We ask ourselves, ďWHAT IFÖĒ. What if this, or that, happens? I used to have contingency plans in my head for several what ifs. What I found is that they were rarely helpful when what if happened. They might have helped some during an immediate crisis, but in the long term they only ruined the present with worry about what might happen. What if, along with stress and worry, is a killer.
Today there are people who are worrying about the changes to the PCUSAís Constitution. No issue is more of a hot button than Amendment 10A, which changed the language of who can be ordained. It places the responsibility in the hands of the ordaining body. Every congregation and every presbytery may choose who it calls as pastor, elder, and deacon. This is one of the basic tenants of the reformed tradition.
Iím not going to try to change your mind on gay ordination. I can tell you how Godís call to me has expanded my understanding of how God uses people in ways we might never imagine. I can tell you how I study the Bible to come to the decisions I make. I can challenge your thoughts and play devilís advocate for whatever position you hold. At its root, this issue is about biblical authority, biblical interpretation, what is sinful and how we discern Godís call to people. Itís an issue that has plagued the church for decades. I choose to let God be the final arbitrator of issues as divisive and emotionally laden as gay ordination.
So for now what are we supposed to do?
The session is divided on the issue, but not on our response. First we need to allow Godís Spirit to blow through the Church as it will. Secondly we will hold a question and answer session after worship on June 19. And third we will go on with the mission and ministry that God has called us to do in this time and place.
I am including a question/answer page that was posted at the PCUSA website prior to the final vote on 10A. I have changed the tense to reflect the vote. I hope that it will answer most questions you have about how the change will affect our congregation. Other questions are welcome. June 19 will not be a time to critique whether the change should, or should not, have happened. It will not be a time to question whether biblical authority has been interpreted correctly. It will be a time to discuss how our congregation will move forward in light of the change.
This is an issue where people of faith disagree. How it will change our congregation will be determined more by how we deal with the change, than with the change itself. Please feel free to come and discuss any thoughts, or concerns, you have. My door is always open.
In Christ, Pastor Myra
We live on a pond with a marshy area in the middle. Over the last few days Iíve seen a pair of swans, or snow geese, enjoying the inlets and sunken island (all white wings with such beautiful long necks). Iíve never seen a swan in the wild before, only at the zoo, so Iím a bit concerned to identify them as such. Canadian geese have nested somewhere on the pond a couple of years and we had the joy of watching their family grow up. Theyíre not as easy to spot. The white of the swan/geese allows me to follow them easier. I watched them until dusk last night. I left the window and in the few minutes I was gone darkness fell, so I didnít see if they stayed the night, or flew away.
I wonder if people are a little like the Canadian geese and the white swan/geese. Some of us show up in the marsh of life, while others of us blend in. Some of us are beautiful because of our color, or long necks, and some of us are plainer. Some of us are the center of attention, charming, engaging and popular, while others are quiet, thoughtful and faithful.
I guess weíre never one or the other but, rather, a puzzle of pieces that put together the unique beings we are. I donít really care if theyíre swans or snow geese. They all have their own beauty and so do we. For more from The Pastor's Press CLICK HERE.