A Reflection

Rev. Robina Winbush
Served as
Office of the General Assembly, Associate Stated Clerk – Director of Ecumenical Relations

“An Invitation to Living!”

1Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience.  Accept each other with love, 3and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. 4You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. 5There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.” Ephesians 4:1–6, CEB.

Ephesians is a letter that is intended for several churches.  It is often referred to as not relating to any one particular church.  Its proclamation emphasizes unity and harmony in Christ. (Wesley Study Bible Common English Bible 2012, Ephesians Introduction, p.1484).   The Confession of Belhar expresses unity in Christ of all believers “that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind.”

Sisters and brothers, Rev. Robina Winbush is known as a fierce advocate for justice and Jesus.  She embodies the letter to the Ephesians and was called to establish unity in Christ of all believers regardless of their denomination.  The PC(USA) has benefited greatly from her ecumenical faith in the unity of all God’s people.  The National Black Presbyterian Caucus (NBPC) remembers Robina as a loyal supporter, friend, accountability partner and life member.  While her family, friends and colleagues continue to receive heartfelt condolences and sympathies, we members of the NBPC, offer ours.

In a recent meeting with the established black leadership of the PC(USA) Robina provided a critique of the NBPC which we continue to incorporate in our work.  She reminded me that she is a lifetime member of NBPC and expects the NBPC to achieve its mission and purpose in the church and society.  I witnessed her love for the NBPC at the 223rd General Assembly when Ruling Elder John Etheredge and I were having lunch in the assembly hall and Robina asked if she could join us.

John and I were reviewing the NBPC Commissioners’ Resolution that was to be submitted to the General Assembly.  She showed a genuine interest in the commissioners’ resolution and asked a few pertinent questions.  The last question was the most strategic.  “How soon are you planning to submit the resolution?”  I replied that we are waiting for the twenty-four (24) hour period to be announced.  With compassion she said “the twenty-four (24) has already begun and it won’t be announced.  I suggest you submit it now.”  Upon that recommendation I graciously thanked Sister Robina and politely excused myself and proceeded directly to the place where Commissioners’ Resolutions were being received.  With many thanks to Sister Robina, we submitted our resolution on time.  Not only was it submitted on time it was eventually approved and became Overture 05–09 “On the Challenge of Being Black in the PC(USA).”

The NBPC is indebted to Sister Robina and humbled by her membership and support.

When the living passionately grieves the death of a friend and loved one, that friend and loved one are truly children of God.  Reverend Sister Robina Winbush, a child of God whose presence will be missed, lived her calling.  Let us be reminded that God invites us to continue the work left undone by one of God’s Saints.  Sister Robina we promise to carry on!

Thomas H. Priest, Jr.
President, NBPC
March 13, 2019