From the Presbyterian News Service: Heeding the call (Your GAC mission dollars at work!)
LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Lee Hinson-Hasty recalled a parking lot discussion he had with a young man who had become an Inquirer after exploring his call with his church’s session for five years.
“Full of a feeling of support by his church community,” Hinson-Hasty told the General Assembly Council (GAC) during its fall meeting here, “he said to me, ‘Lee, wouldn’t it be great if every single youth at our church went through a similar process?’”
Hinson-Hasty, reporting to the GAC on behalf of a Mission Work Plan team addressing “Discerning Christian Vocation: Recapturing a Culture of Call in the PC(USA),” said he smiled, and in a response that has stuck with him to this day said, “Wouldn’t it be great!”
The ultimate goal of the team, said Hinson-Hasty — who’s coordinator for theological education and seminary relations — is that every Presbyterian be invited to answer two questions:
- “Who is God calling me to be in Christ in all that I am and all that I do?”
- “How am I to use the gifts and talents that God has given me for building up the body of Christ and witness to Christ’s presence in all of life?”
“But much more than a programmatic response is required,” Hinson-Hasty said. “The PC(USA) is being called to recover a culture of call that we believe is sacramentally grounded in baptism.
“No program the GAC created could fully resource a restoration of Presbyterian church culture of call in baptism.”
To carry the work forward, the team presented a series of recommendations for 2007-2008, including:
- expansion of discernment and service opportunities;
- connection and coordination of those already involved in Christian vocation discernment ministries;
- incorporation of vocational discernment into all educational programming for Presbyterians of all ages;
- presentation of vocational discernment from a variety of ethnic and cultural perspectives;
- reinforcement of the idea that when Presbyterians participate in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper they are remembering and nurturing their call as Christians; and
- technological support for all these efforts.