Rev. Jerry Andrews, Senior Pastor, FPC San Diego and president of The Fellowship Board
Augustine, enjoyed his friends all his life and stayed with the same cohort throughout his life. Most of those companions with whom Augustine went to grade school, were also, with him, ordained as bishops 40 years later – it is a bit of an overstatement but holds an attractive truth. I envy that – the friends not the bishopric.
Augustine, when young, had read Cicero and with appreciation had adopted his definition of friendship – “agreement about things divine and human, with kindness and affection”. He used it often, even after conversion. But after writing the Confessions, which among things is a self-examination of his relationships, Augustine will add to the definition: “agreement about things divine and human, with kindness and affection in Christ Jesus our Lord, who is our truest peace”. Augustine will never again quote Cicero without that addition.
The Fellowship Community holds dear as one its core values the desire, indeed need, for friendships in Christ. Toward that end we host, and invite all, to an annual Pastor’s Gathering. This is not meant to replace the life sustaining friendships within presbyteries (where they exist), or the long held bonds already forged, especially among those who are blessed to live near to one another, but to provide an environment in which pastors across the country can establish the bonds of friendship that transcend place and which will, once made, become as dear as any friendship.
We pray together. We eat together. We rest together.
We hear from those will who challenge us as much comfort us – challenge us to more fully convert to Christ, challenge us to engage more fully in Christ’s mission to his world. We have discovered that the two challenges go together.
We know we live in a divided world. We decline to take that as either the final word or a reality to which we concede. We determine to make and keep friends in Christ Jesus our Lord, who is our truest peace.
First Presbyterian Church, San Diego