The Synod of the Northeast is one of the most progressive in the PC(U.S.A.) and this is a great thing, regardless of how you view the term “progressive” in a political light. If you have not been “in the know” on what the Synod has been up to over the last couple Assemblies, I’ll give you a little synopsis. Over the last several years, we have been working on identifying, constructing, and implanting the New Way Forward. This document focuses on returning the Church back to an organic, inclusive, community-focused body worshiping Christ. There is not a defined structure on how this New Way Forward is “supposed to work” or the steps one must follow, but it highlights the ideas and concepts that we need to come back to as a Church. The Synod needs to bring new people to the table, and the way to do that is break down the intentional and unintentional boundaries we, as a Church, have created. The goal is to diversify the Church, but it is not the Synod’s job alone to do this. They are there as a hand to help and guide the Presbyteries and congregations, as we need to venture out on the journey on our own. We cannot expect to see a change in our larger body if we do not make the change ourselves. Simply, we need to invest in people. We must act to show our love rather than just saying it. This process will not be easy, and it is almost guaranteed there will be failures along the way, but that is life. Sometimes God’s plan includes little rough patches because he wants us to learn to become comfortable with these failures. We must trust that He knows best and continue working towards the ultimate goal.
I will admit that I had very little knowledge of the New Way Forward before attending this Synod Assembly, but I am so grateful and proud of us for embarking on this journey. We are setting an example, not only for the Presbyterian Church, but for all people of faith. I hope and pray we can, and will, wholly live and embrace this New Way Forward.