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Get our feet wet.

I picked up the summer issue with some anticipation because there on the cover I read Full Report of the 138th General Assembly, Something Happened. But inside, when T read the piece entitled The Business of the Assembly, it seemed as if nothing had happened at all; it was the same old same old. There were a few decisions that broke new ground, in a sense, but they were long overdue. We should have commissioned ruling elders and diaconal ministers to administer the Lord's Supper long ago, and without being there, it is difficult to understand why it took a long debate to distance ourselves from Christian Zionism.

The theme of assembly worship seems to have been Joshua 3:1-17, the story of the crossing of the Jordan as a first step in taking possession of the Promised Land. According to Andrew Faiz, Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset asked if we were prepared to get our feet wet. Judging from the report of the International Affairs Committee, the answer is no.

I served on the International Affairs Committee for two terms of six years. I said repeatedly during my last term that the committee had become very cautious, but nothing came of my intervention because at the time I had no better ideas. But times have changed since I was superannuated some 20 years ago. The situation is much more serious than it was in the '90s.

I am thinking of the committee's recommendations about climate change. As usual the moderator is instructed to write letters, the most innocuous form of pressure, to the government and the companies which have not responded to something called the Carbon Disclosure Project. There is not much we can do about corporations except boycott, but if their products do not appear on retail shelves we are left with disinvestment, a rather blunt instrument. But we can do something about governments.

A year and a half ago we elected a government that is stuck in the '50s. Their minds work in an era before anyone had thought of climate change or limits to growth, even before the slogan "the solution to pollution is dilution." Thus they would have us believe that Canada can be an energy superpower when the kind of energy they support is the kind that will lead us all to rack and ruin. To be fair, the difference between this government and previous ones is that this lot is more single-minded. In the face of this oblivious juggernaut the International Affairs Committee recommends that we write letters. Politicians don't listen to letters, they listen to votes.

People get the government they deserve. We voted for these guys; we are responsible for their folly. Presbyterians are not numerous enough to scare anybody but at least we can do the right thing. There are a couple of provincial elections in the offing; we can get our feet wet by voting for candidates who are on the side of the angels.


Re The Chronophage and the Fullness of Time, The Messy Table blog

This is wonderful. I feel certain that, "This week's lectionary flings open the door to a new perspective on time" will appear in my sermon on Sunday. Peace to you.


Re Subversive Imagination, June

When Theology 101 examines Living Faith in the next few months, it should attempt to reach a wider audience by making some effort to avoid institutional church terminology and explain the concepts in terms that a non-church person can understand. Well-organized articles with a down to earth approach are needed.


online extra

LETTERS HAVE BEEN EDITED to allow more voices to be shared. The full text is on our website. Let the conversation continue.

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Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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