Ours is a world of change and challenge. We have audaciously claimed by the title of our joint assembly that “we are no longer bystanders.”  We can lament what is lost in our church and our world or we can be transformed by grace and become bearers of hope.  By our willingness to name the sins of our times, we make a commitment to bring the Gospel and our voices to speak to the present moment with all its promise and poverty.  The assembly will hold up the icons of suffering that we see around us in a world at war and in the midst of the violence that destroys the human family and the planet. We take all of this to prayer and together, make a choice to live beyond the safety of our own lives. The depth of our spirituality will be revealed by what we do with our pain and the pain we see around us. True religion leads us to practical compassion for all people in concrete and specific situations.

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