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Vision Statement for President Election

Delivered by Rev. John Young-Jung Lee, May 25, 2001 at the Totonto


Conference Anual General MeetingIt is an awesome honour and privilege to stand for the position of president-elect of the Toronto Conference. When I said "Yes" to the call from the nominations committee to stand for this position, I realized that it was a "bold"and "courageous" move. As a member of the United Church, I have learned what it means to be bold and courageous. What I have learned is that when we say "Yes" to the call of God by responding faithfully to the signs of our times then it is bold and courageous. We have been bold and courageous in standing strong on

justice through our ministry of healing and reconciliation, which have been a focus of our ministry. We have faithfully committed ourselves to heal and to be healed through reconciling with the First Nations Community. We courageously affirm that we are "one" in our diverse sexual orientations. We compassionately reach out to be with homeless, children in poverty, and to overcome violence, to keep our environment clean and safe and to be with the pain of the world. We have been faithful to this ministry throughout the history of our United Church and we are so proud of it. This is what we are going to continue to do as we venture further into the reign of God.

In this, our fast changing world, when we read the signs of the times we find that Toronto Conference has the gift of remarkable diversity. This we all know. And we also know that this gift of diversity becomes a blessing when we recognise it as God's gift and celebrate it. "Think God's grace, and act personally." I believe this is the key that makes our ministry real. God's gift of remarkable diversity for our Toronto Conference can become a real blessing when we encounter each other through our personal experiences -  face to face and hand in hand. This is my vision which, I believe, is yours too.

In this vision, we hear joyful noise and rattling of bones here and there coming together as we build a more concrete connection between rural and urban churches more congregations become affirming congregations, we meet our First Nation sisters and brothers with more personal interaction, and we celebrate God's presence with multi-coloured people from diverse communities. Toronto Conference, then, becomes a joyful home where we are blessed with God's gifts of diversity and difference. We will affirm these are God's gifts and with joy we will praise that it is truly a blessing

I believe that this is the promise of the gospel of the resurrection into a new life. This is our dream and the vision that becomes our reality as we join hands together. We have already begun to taste the joy of new life. It is truly God's blessing, a blessing to be with Christ and a blessing to be with our neighbours and all God's creation with fullness of life. And in this our journey, we, hand in hand, will sing praises: We are not alone. God is with us. Thanks be to God!



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