Welcome to 2015! As we turn the page and begin a new year, we often make resolutions – promises to ourselves to exercise more or lose weight or live in a less-stressful way. I have never been very successful at following up on my good intentions, however. So, this year, rather than adding to your “to do” list, why not give yourself the gift of enjoying this month’s theme from our Mission Statement? The theme for January is: we teach, we question, we learn.
This theme sums up one of the main reasons I am a Presbyterian Christian. Our tradition believes in teaching and learning; we are not afraid of asking questions; we long to grow in our understanding of ourselves, God and the world. While there are “eternal truths” in Christian faith, there is always more for us to learn and new dimensions of the faith that we will come to understand as we confront the issues of our day.
One of the greatest joys of ministry in the Presbyterian tradition is that pastors are expected to be teachers (our Book of Order now calls us “teaching elders”). And in order to teach, one must first of all be a learner — not content to say the same thing over and over again but open to fresh insights and new challenges. The terms of call for pastors requires time for continuing education (and we are really grateful for it!) but most of us take the responsibility of learning to be a part of our job every day. One of my faculty colleagues at McCormick used to say to her classes, “Have you had a good question today?” That captures the spirit of education and of faith for me.
This month, we will have many opportunities for you to participate in our Mission Statement theme. New adult classes begin on Sunday mornings (see other articles and the bulletin for more information); Gene March starts a Sunday afternoon series on the minor prophets; Lee Hinson-Hasty (Presbyterian minister and active participant at Highland) will speak at Wednesday Connect about Theological Education in the Presbyterian Church (USA); Dr. Michael Jinkins, president of Louisville Seminary will preach at both services on January 11.
Come out this month and discover something new about our faith as together we teach, we question, we learn.
Cynthia M. Campbell, Pastor