Narrative of Robert's Call
I stand here today as part of a process which began many years ago and will continue in time, beond this day and this moment. I was brought up within the St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Argentina. This church was part of the Church of Scotland, and I was the first Argentine to complete theological education in Argentina. As part of the work of churches in Argentina the Presbyterian Church and the Argentine Reformed Churches began a process of union. which only lasted a few months, but during this time, I was called to serve as a minister of the Reformed Churches in Argentina. It is from this challenging church experience that I come.
Together with my pastoral ministry I was fully involved in the ecumenical movement within Argentina - with the eight historical churches that formed the nucleus of church activities, within Latin-America - with the Latin American Council of Churches and the Reformed-Presbyterian Latin American Region, and world-wide - having been on the Executive Committee of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for the last 13 years. Ecumenism also defines my options.
Looking back there are two strong elements that form part of my life as a whole: the theology of Exodus and the theology of the Crucified and Risen Christ, who walks the way of life with the people of God.
Both these instances are the path that has gone from the known to the unknown, from security to risk: a way that could not turn to maps because the way was new and there were no maps. On this way I always felt the constant presence of the God who was willing to trust, to call and wait for the response, to guide and comfort, to indicate a way ahead when all ways seemed closed: the God of Life who had a port or better said an airport of arrival in mind. God who was willing to run the risk of love, believing we would respond.
I found at Immanuel and Highworth people who, in faith, were willing to run the risk of faith, which included inviting me to cross the Atlantic and share ... we shared our stories of faith, and before long we were also sharing our laughter, our dreams, our hopes and even some of our frustrations ... this was a way to explore, and explore it we did! I believe that sense of humour is a redeeming factor for believers. This shared walk led by God has led us all to this moment.
I stand here today before God and all of you, aware of the past, and looking forward to the future, rooted in the love of family and friends, those far away and those close by, those known and those to be discovered. This way both you and I begin to develop a new relationship, creating an "us" which will not only happen in church but also, very much so, in the world created by God to which we have been called and are sent out in faith, in trust, even if sometimes with fear. We are not alone.
And only because of this, we as a family saw God's hand in this call from the known to the unknown and to all that is to be discovered. In this too we are not alone. We move forward to the future together, God's hand leading, Highworth, Swindon and what God feels should be. We are not alone.