“Above all, maintain constant love for one another… Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (1 Peter 4:8-10)
One of the things I love about the church is that it is governed by people working together in community. In important decisions, everyone has a voice. And, even when it comes to more mundane decisions, the church has always been careful about how choices are made… and who should make those choices. The later epistles of the New Testament show just how seriously the early church took the task of choosing leaders with steady faith, level heads, and upright character.
Although I have only been with you for a month, I have already met with many of LAC’s committees and working groups, including all three of your governing boards: the session, the board of trustees, and the diaconate. Even at this stage, I am joyfully confident of one critical truth: LAC is represented by men and women who not only meet but surpass the high standards for leadership established by scripture and Presbyterian tradition. These people are “persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.” Their goals are to serve others with care and thoughtfulness, to discern and guide the church with scriptural fidelity, and to strengthen and nurture the spiritual life of this faith community. Perhaps most importantly, they pursue these ends with joy, light, and love for one another.
This past Monday night, as I closed with prayer my first meeting as moderator of your session, I looked around at the faces of the gathered elders. In that instant, one overwhelming sentiment blew through my spirit like a refreshing breeze. It was gratitude – gratitude that God has called me here… gratitude that I would be so richly blessed to share leadership with such lovely, faithful, and genuine people… gratitude that we get to be the church together.
I am excited about the next chapter God is writing in the life of Larchmont Avenue Church, and I pray that our whole community will continue to embrace the faith, hope, and love of your elected officers.