Joy in the Year Ending; Hope in the Year to Come

The year 2015 has been a monumental one – for our country, for our church, and for our organization. Thank you for being part of it … now and in the monumental year ahead.

There are many snapshots from the work this year I’ll be carrying with me the rest of my life…

  • Celebrating with hundreds of other Presbyterians in Chicago the night we heard that Amendment 14-F had been approved by a majority of presbyteries, opening the door to the gift of marriage, once and for ALL;
  • Challenging and affirming presentations and conversations at our national conference last month, where we gathered to reaffirm our commitment to seeing all God’s children fully included in God’s church, continuing the struggle for LGBTQ people and broadening our focus to join in lifting up other voices long silenced;
  • The notes I’ve received from people who are now ordained, or now married, thanking the Covenant Network for helping make it possible. The meetings with students who are out and open on their seminary campuses—in ways unthinkable a decade ago. The gatherings of pioneers in the movement now able to look back and laugh and cry and remember;
  • But also the notes and calls from places where the way is still not clear. From presbyteries where division still dominates the dialogue. The sessions who want to move forward with justice and reconciliation but don’t know how.

The Covenant Network of Presbyterians has itself had an intense year, identifying what will be our guiding mission going forward. We have emerged with a clear calling to keep working toward a church that is truly inclusive, whose generosity and justice reflect our Savior’s. You have told us how much work there is left to do—at General Assembly, in denominational structures, in congregations and presbyteries, in hearts and minds. And we have heard that our resources, our history, our relationships are still crucial to seeing that vision accomplished in the life of the church. It is the church that has told us how much this work still matters. We are continuing, even growing, because of you. So thank you.

In 2016, we’ll keep doing things we’ve done well…

  • cultivating theological and biblical foundations for justice
  • modeling love and humility with those with whom we disagree
  • advocating vigorously for inclusion at General Assembly.

And the year ahead is rich with new opportunities, many already getting underway…

  • offering ourselves for conversation with global church partners
  • developing new practical congregational and individual resources, from liturgies to conversation guides to leader development materials
  • embracing and promoting the Belhar Confession and its call for unity, justice and reconciliation among all people, including people of color
  • convening conversations with partners, including racial/ethnic caucuses of the PCUSA, that will lead to action.

Will you help us make our hopes for 2016 a reality? Your fully tax-deductible gift will fund programs, conference scholarships, resource development and our advocacy work at General Assembly. You will make possible another year full of gracious dialogue and achievement in seeking a more just and generous church. You can give online right now by visiting www.covnetpres.org/donate. You can also send a check to our mailing address (3210 Michigan Avenue, Suite 300, Kansas City, MO 64109).* We also accept gifts of appreciated stock; to discuss this or particular giving opportunities in support of major initiatives, please contact us by email ([email protected]) or by calling our office at 816-605-1031.

Again, my deepest thanks for your steadfast support and faithful commitment to all of God’s people. May Christmas joy give way to an Epiphany of mutual understanding and then the Ordinary work of justice, mercy and love. And may God bless you, your congregation and our whole church in the year ahead._POR0254

In Christ,

Brian's signature

 

 

Brian Ellison
Executive Director

*Online donations must be made by midnight on 12/31/15, or postmarked by then and received by 1/10/16, in order to count toward 2015.

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