Presbyterians Today

NOV-DEC 2018

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 11 What advice would you give Presbyterians who cringe when they hear the word "justice," thinking they are in for a political sermon? Go back to the words of Jesus. He preached a lot about the kingdom. And then wake up to the opportunities around you, no matter where you are. We are called to empty ourselves; carry the cross. How can we get better at "carrying the cross"? Presbyterians are good doing "soft" ministries — serving food, providing clothes. But what about looking at the systemic causes? Asking the hard questions. Why are people in poverty? Why is there still racism? Ask. Pray. Then allow God to lead you to tangible actions. It's that emptying ourselves thing, isn't it? Can you share what it is that you pray for? I want to know Jesus. Both the fellowship of his suffering and the power of his resurrection. I want to see what God sees. That is the greatest prayer to pray. Thank you for your time, Diane. Wait, before you go, let's pray. Did you have any political role models that influenced you or guided you? I remember in the 1970s, Rev. Frank Pinkard, a Presbyterian pastor at the time, who later became a Baptist — why I call him a "Bapterian" — running for mayor in Oakland, California. He struggled with his decision and shared his struggles with his congregation, but he wanted to be part of working on the issues then that still plague us today. I still remember the bright orange campaign button he wore that said, "The Rev." Did you struggle with the idea of running for public office? I didn't struggle with the idea of a pastor running for political office. However, I did struggle with the idea of running for office itself — putting myself out there. What changed your mind? I thought, "You have to put feet to faith and legs to love. You have to become that love with skin on it." Obviously, you didn't win the mayoral race — lucky for the PC(USA). I heard, though, that you had a strong showing for a newcomer. I did. I got asked a lot how I got all those votes for a newcomer. How did you? By just being the voice of the one not heard, not represented. There's a place for everyone at the table. DID YOU KNOW? In 2002, Diane Moffett had a book published, Beyond Greens and Cornbread: Reflections on African American Christian Identity, which relays the messages of African- American hopes and dreams and calls for Christians of every culture to move beyond challenges and traditions into a future filled with hope and expectancy. MARK THOMSON

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