For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12
It is with overwhelming joy and gratitude that I commend to you the 2016 Annual Report. I always appreciate the discipline of re-membering the past year. Sometimes when we are living in the weeds of the day-to-day, it is hard to trace God’s hand, encouraging, guiding and leading us into becoming a more faithful community, but when you look back, it becomes easier to see.
As I read this year’s reports from PCM, the Session and Diaconate Committees as well as the Presbyterian Women, I was reminded of Paul’s image of the church as the Body of Christ. Each of these reports reflects a member of the Body: Rev. Cate Church Norman’s letter reminds us of our central mission in relationship to the campus and the students we serve and who are our partners in ministry; the Session reports trace the movement of the members of our body who lead our worshipping life, our deep commitment to Christian Formation and the Arts, our call to care for one another as well as to be a Body who is active in the world in mission, peace and justice. The Finance & Stewardship Report drills deeply into the details of our financial life as we hold ourselves accountable to the gifts God has entrusted to our care. The Diaconate reports remind us of the parts of our Body whose special gifts it is to show hospitality, paying special attention to the relationships of all members of the Body, including this building we call home. Don’t stop reading there, though! The Presbyterian Women are an integral part of this Body – they work in service to the whole Body, while also supporting and sustaining their own unique ministry and mission. The North Carolina Council of Churches and hearts with Haiti round out the picture of our Body.
We would not be the church, the Body of Christ, without each and every one of the members of this report. By God’s creative, redemptive and sustaining grace, these members are made into one Body that is the church. We live, love and serve together; we suffer, stand and die together. In the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one Body, and we are individually members of it. We would not, could not be who we are without one another, without you, without the Spirit working in us to made us one Body.
Friends, as you read these pages and look at these pictures, I invite you to re-member this year of being church together. May it make you smile and laugh, may it bring a tear or two into the corner of your eye, may it bring you deep joy and hope for the future because you have seen how God has worked in the past. Friends, you are the body of Christ and individually members of it, and the Body describes in these pages is alive – thanks be to God!