Rejoice in Hope: PWs Celebrate Hope, Joy and Community
Two years ago, the planning team for the PW Churchwide Gathering and Business Meeting met in St. Louis to take a tour of our host city and to consider possibilities for the event’s theme. We knew, then, that tumultuous events were on the horizon and that hosting an event incorporating faithful responses to our sense of insecurity and dislocation would be an important part of our considerations. As we looked ahead to what Presbyterian women might need to hear in 2021, we thought about the divisive presidential election of 2020 that would be in the background. We knew the concerns about declining church membership and, by extension, PW membership, would be part of the conversations. We knew the growing disease surrounding issues like income inequality, injustices in the legal system, climate change and systemic racism all would be swirling around the hearts and minds of Gathering participants.
What we couldn’t foresee, of course, was a worldwide pandemic that would threaten our health, exacerbate existing problems in our communities’ safety nets and even tear at the fabric of our society. While the planning team had to pivot from an in-person event spread out over several days to a shortened online event, it was clear that our choice of a theme, Rejoice in Hope, was just as meaningful.
If you watched PW’s Online Church-wide Gathering event and Business Meeting, you will recognize many of those leaders in the pages of this issue. The sermon preached by Diane Moffett and the plenary address from Irene Pak Lee are reprinted here, along with greet-ings given by the new PW Churchwide moderators and the Co-moderator of the 224th General Assembly (2020). Carissa Herold writes an overview of the items voted on at the triennial business meeting and Charles A. Wiley provides insight into our consideration of one of those items, whether or not to change language in the PW Purpose from “kingdom” to “kin-dom.”
The PW Churchwide Gathering planning team tried to take into account all the heartaches in our world as we selected the event’s theme. We couldn’t predict how or when God will intervene to make things better, but we were assured that, through the work and witness of Christ, God will fulfill the promise to reach out to all of us with grace and love. We rejoice in the knowledge that peace and justice will, eventually, prevail- and we find deep hope in that.
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Rejoice in Hope
In her plenary address to the PW Online Churchwide Gathering event, Irene Pak Lee considers the three-point call found in Romans 12 and describes the fear, joy and hope she has for her baby, Eden, born in the midst of the pandemic.
Hope That Will Not Let You Go
Diane Moffett offers insights into Paul’s inspiring and encouraging sense of hope in her sermon for the PW Gathering worship service. She encourages Presbyterians to embrace the Matthew 25 vision to dismantle racism and eradicate poverty, and spotlights stories of those who rejoice in hope.
Meet Your New Moderators
Kathy Reeves and Kathleen Keefer, moderator and vice moderator of the 2021–2024 PW Board of Trustees, share their sense of joy, honor and gratitude for being called to serve, celebrate the past and look to the future of Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA).
PW Biz: We’re Doing a New Thing
Carissa Herold recaps the triennial Business Meeting, held online for the first time, and provides a guide for PW groups to watch important moments via YouTube. Also take a behind-the-scenes look at the people and technology essential to putting on a virtual event and enjoy pictures submitted from Presbyterian Women’s groups who hosted watch parties at their homes and churches.
Thy Kin-dom Come?
Charles A. Wiley provides insights on Christian theology and history that led to the use of “Kingdom of God” to describe the core message of Jesus. He explores how the term “Kin-dom of God” helps us envision the gospel community that challenges human hierarchies.
2021 Thank Offering Recipients
2021 Thank Offering Dedication Service
Anna H. Bedford Bible Study Resource
Melva Lowry offers reflections and questions for use in studying Lessons Three and Four of the 2021–2022 PW/Horizons Bible study, What My Grandmothers Taught Me: Learning from the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus by Merryl Blair.
Thankful for Thistles: Helping PW Thrive Through Mission
Lisa Gray and Carissa Herold
Lifted in Song
Cecilia Amorocho Hickerson
Unpacking the Theme: Scripture Study
God’s Gifts of Hope, Joy and Community
Rhonda Mawhood Lee
Pages Worth Turning
Building Inclusive Community
A Rich Community
Micah Rose Emerson
Stories from the Ages
A Place in the Choir
Hillary Moses Mohaupt
Explanding mission Outreach
Working for Justice and Peace
Supporting What’s Good
After the Offering
Outdoor Blocks Provide a Perfect Way to Play During a Pandemic
The Comfort of Ancestors and Descendants
Amy Starr Redwine
Strengthening the PC(USA)
Greetings, Presbyterian Women