We Presbyterians have a Book of Confessions which is not a tell all book of all of our bad deeds, it is the first part of our Constitution, and consists of the creeds, cathecisms and confessions that are what we believe or have believed; the second part being the Book of Order which essentially covers how we do things – in exquisite detail. “To confess means to openly affirm, declare, acknowledge or take a stand for what one believes to be true.” (Pg. v, The Book of Confession) In much the same way that Thomas Jefferson said that the Constitution of the United States should no more remain static than a man should expect that the clothes he wore as a child would still fit when a man, we believe that our beliefs change over time, hopefully continuing to come more into line with the teaching of Jesus as we evolve. Our confessions are the way we express our evolution. We are now in the process of adopting the Letter from Birmingham Jail as one of our confessions – a document that expresses our beliefs.
If you have not read it, I suggest you do, it is a magnificent piece of writing. If you haven’t read it for a while, re-read it. Then think about writing your own confession – set down on paper what you believe and how you believe you should act as a result. Then do the gut check, do they square? If so, my hat is off to you. If not, well… let’s see what, where, how and when we (I totally count myself in this camp) can make that change. Let’s do a little personal evolution this year.
Director of Children and Young Families
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