Last Saturday, I had another new experience for me. That seems to be becoming the norm during this pandemic. The word "unprecedented" is now used often, so much so that one person suggested that we ban it for now. That may be going a little bit overboard. But last Saturday morning we had our first Zoom Presbytery meeting. Overall, it went pretty well. More than 300 of us gathered online and conducted the necessary business of our Presbytery. This included a few routine items, but mainly we received new pastors and candidates for ministry into our Presbytery. We Presbyterians spend a lot of time not only educating our pastors-to-be, but making sure they really sense a calling to serve the church as a pastor.
In receiving the new ministers and candidates, I recognized the last name of a younger clergy couple -- Wilmesherr I realized that Drew, the husband, was the grandson of JCPC members Dottie and Jack Shea. Jack died a few years ago, but Dottie is still a member of our church family. When Drew was talking about his call to ministry, he mentioned the influence of his parents who are both Presbyterian ministers. I have had the privilege of knowing both of them over the years. But he also mentioned the influence of his grandparents, and I knew he was talking about Dottie and Jack Shea. Now Dottie and Jack were not Presbyterian ministers, but they were and are devoted Christians who served faithfully as members of Presbyterian churches over the years. That kind of positive influence can make a big difference in the lives of others, even to the next generation.
Sometimes I wonder what kind of influence we are having on the next generation. I pray that the good we do has a greater influence than our shortcomings. Every now and then, I see something or someone that gives me hope for the future, long after my generation is gone and left this earth.
I like the way Psalm 78:4 encourages us to pass it on:
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.