THE GOSPEL IN NEW YORK CITY - "Follow me," Jesus said.

THE GOSPEL IN NEW YORK CITY - "Follow me," Jesus said.

Our core values - Embody God's Love, Proclaim God's Word, Promote God's Justice - are derivative. They come from following the way Jesus embodied God's love, the words Jesus proclaimed, and the way he promoted God's justice, that the will of God be done on earth as in heaven. "The reign of God is at hand," Jesus proclaimed; "turn to me and believe the gospel"-the good news I will show you. He called people to follow him into the way this gospel would transform lives - opening the eyes of those who are blind to the way of God (literally and metaphorically), giving release, relief, and peace to those captive to demonic and by life-harming ways, liberating those oppressed by systemic religious, social, and legal morays to create communities in which God's forgiveness and love, mercy and justice are manifested--particularly among those who are poor, despised, and marginalized. And so the gospel, good news, began in the life of Jesus from Nazareth and continues with those who follow Jesus in New York City.

I thank God that every week someone shows forth the gospel Jesus incarnated through their lives.

Some feel called to teach others the way of Jesus. Some to preach and start or lead communities that want to follow the way Jesus taught. Some are incredible spiritual guides.  Some help people in their hour or place of need. Some show what restorative justice looks like.  Some have administrative, analytic, legal, and financial gifts that help organize those who congregate in faith communities. Different gifts given by the same Spirit poured into Jesus that the same will of God be fulfilled through all. As Jesus taught, preached, healed, exemplified God's love and justice, so have others become encouraged, empowered, and energized by Jesus to do the same. The gospel goes forth in New York City through individual activity, the collective efforts of congregations, and with many partners who similarly care about the things we believe God cares about.

Among nearly 14,000 members of the Presbytery of New York City, each year we seek 55 persons called from the churches in our five boroughs to help people discern God's call in their lives to ministry, find pastoral leaders for churches, start new communities of faith, discern God's mission and vision, train leaders of congregations, equip younger generations to lead the church, work on restorative justice in and beyond this city, provide assistance for legal, financial, and property matters for our churches, help churches keep historical records of the baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and ordinations of Jesus' followers, to support presbytery staff who resource 92 congregations and 11 newer worshiping communities and immigrant fellowships, and recruit and validate the ministries of those who will serve God's mission beyond the local congregation and this city.

Maybe the Spirit is calling you or someone you know to step up and into strengthening how the gospel Jesus embodied and proclaimed does not stop with one generation of leaders but continues in your life and by your leadership. Your skills, experience, and commitment shape our how well we serve God's purposes. Step forward.

You are not alone. Jesus is with you. God provides partners to work alongside you. Another 100 Presbyterians have stepped into many ways of following God. You will be challenged. Some ministries will call you into deepening spiritual commitment. You will grow in wisdom and knowledge. Some of you will be called into greater service because of what you are willing to do out of your love for God, your neighbor, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let us know who you are and where Jesus may be calling you to serve and support others. The gospel grows in New York City where we step forward to follow Jesus and to help others embody God's love, proclaim God's Word, and promote God's justice. 

Rev. Dr. Robert Foltz-Morrison