A Call To Prayer From the Desk of the Moderator 189th General Assembly
A Call To Prayer
As the Office of General Assembly moves forward with plans for an in-person General Assembly at the end of June in Louisville KY, I have been listening to the Holy Spirit as to what, if any, thoughts I could share in a final pastoral letter to the church before my time as Moderator concludes.
In typical fashion in my walk with the Lord, God broke into my world when I least expected it and shed light on a crisis that is impacting part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. One of our pastors who is in the trenches of doing ministry brought to my attention the protests and civil unrest our brothers and sisters in Colombia, South America are experiencing. I am usually current on national and world news. Lately I have been focused on some family matters and like many of us, I lost sight of things happening beyond my little world. This one got by me. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit nudged someone to reach out to me and encourage me to take a look.
I did an internet search on Colombia current events. In just a few short days a situation that was not trending much in headlines has now exploded. It seems that this devastating (and seemingly never ending) pandemic has struck again and is bringing more death, strife, poverty, etc. to our global CP family. From news reports I read the situation is at a boiling point. Here are the highlights of what I read:
- About a week ago protests and civil unrest began over a proposed tax reform to cover a spending gap tied to the pandemic. In other words, a tax increase. Protests began to bring light to the increase in poverty, unemployment, and inequality. While the tax reform was abandoned, for now, protests have continued and there are now reports of excessive use of force by police against protestors. There has been a very restrictive pandemic lockdown for an exceptionally long time. At least two dozen people have died in the last week during the protests.
- Making things worse, Colombia is experiencing its third pandemic surge and deaths are at a record in the last week. Vaccines have not surprisingly dropped.
- The epicenter of protests is in Cali. For those unaware, we have a significant CP footprint in Cali, including the Colegio. The military has been deployed to Cali. There are reports of a growing lack of food and fuel.
- Our General Assembly Stated Clerk told me that there have been demonstrations and vandalism in the vicinity of the Colegio. Barricades are in place around the school.
Considering this crisis, I am calling the CPC to a time of prayer for our church family in Colombia. They need our prayers, encouragement, and support. Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit as to how you can get engaged. The early Church (see Acts 1) had a culture of prayer and expectation that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would renew and revive them. Let us embrace that culture of prayer and expectation as we pray for our CP family in Colombia.
General Assembly Moderator