Reflections from the Moderator
The Rev. Peter Bush provides comments on The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) signing the statement of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justicfication .
The gift of salvation (justification) invites a joyful response. The signing of this document, this moment, gives us an opportunity to celebrate anew the gift of salvation offered to all humanity in Jesus Christ. As Canadian Presbyterians study and reflect on the statement may we find our joy and wonder at God’s gift deepened.
Good theology aids in the resolution of divisions. Often theology is regarded as a problem, and theological statements are ridiculed as just being so many words. In this case, a centuries-old conflict finds its resolution through theological reflection and discussions about doctrine.
The WCRC statement offers both appreciation for the declaration on justification and highlights distinct Reformed (Presbyterian) insights into justification. These distinctions remind us that the Reformed/Presbyterian voice, along with the voices of the other expressions of Christianity, are needed if the universal church is going to have the fullest possible understanding of the extraordinary jewel of justification/salvation. Only through respectful discussion with people from the full range of the Christian Church will we be able to grasp how wide and long, high and deep, is the gift of God’s salvation.
Ultimately, ecumenism (Christians sharing their common commitments across denominational lines) is experienced locally. The WCRC statement will reach its goal in Canada, not in on-going discussions among theologians, but rather when the Presbyterian congregation reaches out to the Roman Catholic Church down the road, to work together in ways that proclaim the good news of the gospel and the salvation which has come to all humanity in Jesus Christ.
Moderator Calls for Prayer for Forest Fires Raging in British Columbia Interior
As the fires rage in British Columbia, the moderator, the Rev. Peter Bush, invites the people of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to pray.
God of mercy,
We pray for the people of the British Columbia interior impacted by these fires—Williams Lake, Cache Creek, Ashcroft Indian Reserve, 100 Mile House—and other places impacted but whose names we do not know.
In mercy, look down upon those who have lost property, we cannot imagine what it is to lose everything in a fire.
In mercy, look down upon those who have left everything behind and do not know if they will have anything to return to, we cannot imagine what that feels like.
In mercy, look down upon those who are driving out through smoke and danger.
We pray for firefighters—we are astounded by their courage, their skill, and their stamina. Keep them safe in extraordinarily dangerous situations. Be with their family and friends, who support them and worry about them.
We pray government officials and emergency planners that they would have wisdom, patience, and calm while all around them there is chaos and uncertainty.
We thank you for communities like Prince George and Kamloops and others that are welcoming evacuees from the fire, give the leaders and citizens of these communities caring hearts, welcoming smiles, and good spirits to show hospitality to the thousands who are arriving on their doorsteps.
God of the weather, we ask for rain with no lightning and cooler weather with no wind.
We bring before you all those connected with the Presbyterian Church’s Cariboo Ministry who are impacted by this fire, and all those Presbyterians who may have the opportunity to show hospitality—let them know that they are loved and prayed for by your church.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
—The Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 143rd General Assembly