Welcome to the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii


Elder Doska Ross is Synod Executive and Stated Clerk

November 5, 2014


How busy we are these days, with meetings and phone calls and emails and conversations and on and on and on! For what? We say we are doing God’s work in the world, but are we?
           Your Synod staff members have been caught up in this whirlwind of activity reflected in the dozens of papers and documents you have received for today’s meeting. In my position individually, with PJC cases, concerns about the future of the presbyteries and the synod, attending presbytery meetings, sale of properties held by the synod for presbyteries, transfer of Hanmi congregations, assisting other councils as they deal with conflict that accompanies diminishing staff and finances, it is easy to lose sight of our purpose. What is our purpose, anyway?
           According to the Synod Bylaws, our purpose is:

As disciples of Jesus Christ, instructed by the Scripture and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Synod is called by God to be a community of faith to carry out the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) within its bounds, and specifically to perform the function of synods as set forth in G-3.04 of the Form of Government in the Book of Order. The purpose and vision of the Synod is set forth in a Vision Statement included, along with the Mission Design, in the Manual of Administrative Operations.

The Vision Statement adopted in 2007 says:

The Synod of Southern California and Hawaii
has as its foundation Jesus Christ.
As the body of Christ, it is a visible sign
of a rich diversity of persons, gifts, and understandings.

We are becoming a flexible community
as the Body of Christ<
for creative interplay among governing bodies.

This is a new day for mutual up-building
and for actively forming relationships grounded in Christ
that enable congregations, presbyteries and the synod to serve most effectively
the emerging mission in their contexts,
consistent with the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

          And the final sentence of that document says, “We will collectively commit to becoming an empowering middle governing body that seeks to be a relational, outwardly-focused community that exercises its gifts for the advancement of ministry and mission in the region.”
           My prayer is that we will all commit to this purpose and vision in all that we do, and take time on a regular basis to thank God for the opportunity to serve the world in whatever ways we can, using the gifts God has so lavishly bestowed upon us, including emails and phone calls and meetings. May it be so!