Mornin! Hows all y’all doin’?
That’s my attempt to fit in here in the deep south. My spell check really didn’t like it, though, so I’ve got to start putting my “g’s” at the ends of the words, even though I have’t heard one since Sunday.
It’s beautiful here in Mobile, AL, where the Presbyterian Church in America has come together for the 44th General Assembly. As we are a predominately Southern Church, the G.A. meetings are predominately in the South, and predominately attended by Southerners, there is a lot of Southern speaking going on.
As I have found in my experience, I have a sort of “chameleon” style accent – I tend to pick up, or perhaps slide into, the accent of those around me. I was talking with a representative from Edinburgh, Scotland yesterday, and had to consciously keep myself from picking up the brogue. It’s easy, when talking to my Church Fathers and Brothers from the South, to want to start talking with a Southern accent, but I don’t want to appear to be imitating them, so I have to make an effort to drop any accent whatsoever. My hope is that when I return from GA, I won’t sound any different than when I left. Everybody was worried about catching the Zika virus, my prayer is that I don’t come home with a Southern drawl.
Yet, there is an unmistakable accent spoken here in the Church that I hope to learn and speak the rest of my life. It is the accent of grace. We are a people saved, not predominately but entirely, by grace. It is God’s grace that creates us out of chaos. It is God’s grace in Jesus Christ that calls us out of death and sin. It is God’s grace that re-creates us to be a people set apart for Him. It is God’s grace that compels us in His Spirit to proclaim boldly the doctrines of Grace for the salvation of all men. As the sweet southern charm soothes the frantic bustle of this northerners day, so the ever flowing grace of God brings comfort and refreshment to the weary soul.
The accent of grace is spoken fluently here, and I hope I sound like that every day.
G.A. Update – The first day of GA was excellent. Most of the day was spent in seminars to help build up and equip the church. I did serve as the recording secretary of the Mission to North America Committee of Commissioners, a job that ended as soon as the committee meeting ended – Amen! The opening worship service was excellent, and we elected the new Moderator, Pastor George Robertson, from Augusta, GA. The Assembly business begins today, as well as more seminars, so it will be a full and busy day. I’ll hopefully have more updates at the end of the day.
Grace and peace!