Friday, February 24, 2012
How not to be missional in Mission Presbytery
When my children were young I made many trips into Baja which is a part of Mexico. My husband and I often stayed at an orphanage which at the time was almost an international community. But it was certainly like a large family and the Hispanics who lived there and worked there made it so. One time when my husband was visiting his brother who worked there they went to a home close by where a restaurant had existed which they thought still existed. They walked in without knocking, ordered lunch and were served although the family no longer used their home as a restaurant. Such is the generosity of the Mexican people.
I write this to explain that when the members of El Principe de Paz, Mercedes TX, moved out of their Church at the request of the Stated Clerk of Mission Presbytery they took some things with them they felt were theirs. The articles made by them and even donated by their grandparents were considered by them to be theirs. That is not unreasonable. Now some presbytery staff members are threatening to arrest them and they are “terrified and living in fear.” This has nothing to do with mission and certainly not with Christianity. This is in fact bullying.
I know there are good people in Mission Presbytery, both progressives and conservatives. Where is their voice? Now is the time for Mission Presbytery to be truly missional. This is a call to love as Jesus loved us. This is a call to truly lift up the verse that is so loved by Presbyterians:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8”)
I am also thinking of the confession of sin written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. There is that part that says this:
“The Church confesses herself guilty towards the countless victims of calumny, denunciation and defamation. She has not convicted the slanderer of his wrongdoing, and she has thereby abandoned the slandered to his fate.
The Church confesses that she has desired security, peace and quiet, possessions and honour, to which she has no right, and in this way she has not bridled the desires of men but has stimulated them still further.” 
Picture-my husband and I walking down a road in Colonia Guerrero Baja with some of our children and their friends from the orphanage.