2015 Moderator Shares Theme, Goals, & Background – The Moderator’s Message

Sonia Bodi headshot By Sonia Bodi, ruling elder at Evanston First, 2015 Moderator of the Chicago Presbytery

When I was asked by the Nominating Committee to consider serving as Moderator of the Presbytery, I was stunned which I frequently am when God calls me to do something I had never imagined doing. Now that I’ve had a year of being Moderator-elect, I’m glad I said yes.

One of the joys of being Moderator-elect is choosing the Moderator’s theme and asking pastors to preach and churches to hold assembly meetings. The moderator’s theme for 2014 selected by John Vest was the First Great End of the Church: The Proclamation of the Gospel for the Salvation of Humankind. I liked that theme very much and chose as my theme for 2015 the Sixth Great End of the Church: The Exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the World. These two bookends of the Six Great Ends of the Church complement each other: The Proclamation of the Gospel speaks of the Great Commission and the Exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven speaks of the Great Commandment.

The preacher for our February 21st assembly meeting at Evanston First is Dr. John Azumah, Associate Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Columbia Theological Seminary and member of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Dr. Azumah, originally from Ghana, was born to a Muslim family but became a follower of Jesus when at school he met Christians who exhibited the Kingdom of God by their actions. His sermon title is “Thy Kingdom Come,” and he will address the question of how Presbyterians understand the Kingdom.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2015, I’m pleased to announce the following who have agreed to preach at our assembly meetings. All will be preaching on some aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Saturday, April 18 Assembly Meeting at Arlington Heights First
Preaching: Rev. Barbara Cathey, Chicago Edgewater
Tuesday, June 16 Assembly Meeting at Flossmoor Community
Preaching: Rev. Michael Miller, Chicago Crerar
Tuesday, September 15 Assembly Meeting at Glen Ellyn First
Preaching: Rev. Dan McNerney, Associate Director, Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship

I will then preach at the Saturday, November 21 Assembly Meeting at Lake Forest First.

Another joy of being Moderator is getting to know people from across the Presbytery and how all churches share some common characteristics, but each has a unique place in the Body of Christ. In past years I’ve served on the Commission on Ministry and Constitutional Procedures Work Group, commissions to install/ ordain teaching elders, and as a commissioner to the 2010 General Assembly. In my own church, I’ve been Clerk of Session at Evanston First, teacher of and participant in Bible studies, moderator for Pilgrimage/Cursillo, and Mission Council. A highlight of missions was participating in Tumekutana, a gathering of 70 African Presbyterian women responsible for women’s ministries in 17 countries which met in Kenya in 2007, Rwanda in 2011, and will meet in Ghana in 2015.

On a personal level, when I married my husband Peter, who had custody of his children, I became the instant mother to John, then 5 years old and Glenn, then 9. Together we had Eric, and we now have three grandchildren: two are Glenn’s and one is John’s (sadly, John passed away in 2010).

For most of my professional life, I worked at North Park University as Professor of Bibliography (now Professor Emerita) and Director of the Brandel Library, and for eleven years chair of the Division of Humanities faculty. I did my undergraduate degree (history) at Augustana College in Rock Island and took my junior year at the University of Edinburgh. My graduate degrees are from Northwestern (English) and Dominican University (Library and Information Science).

For fun, I enjoy reading, biking, hiking, walking, attending the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and traveling. Mostly, I like to read with a cuppa (coffee) or glass of wine (Trader Joe’s) and watch Downton Abbey.

This article was originally published on page 3 of the February 2015 Our Common Ministry, the presbytery’s newsletter. Download the complete issue.

One Response to “2015 Moderator Shares Theme, Goals, & Background – The Moderator’s Message”

  1. bud ogle Says:

    Congratulations Sonia! It will be exciting to follow your leadership as we all seek the Holy Spirit’s leading. Be sure to keep us informed of where you need specific prayer support. God’s richest blessings.

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