For time to time, Presbytery leader Ryan Landino will take random questions from across the presbytery! This will be an experiment that we hope will be a monthly offering. As I lead best by asking questions, I appreciate the questions you have asked and are asking!
“I HEARD YOU GOT PUPPIES! IS THIS TRUE?”
“Are they real siblings?”
Yes, they came from the same litter. They love and trust each other, and finding two dogs that could have a good dynamic together from the start who we could train together is something Danielle and I learned to value from our previous dogs. These two we got from a pet rescue in Godfrey Illinois, who were rescued from Springfield, MO due to breed specific legislation there targeting certain breeds wrongfully thought to be dangerous. The cutie on the left is Yuna, and the cutie on the right is Zeno.
“What is your favorite thing they have learned or you have taught them?”
It’s a tie between “stop biting me; my fingers are not a chew-toy,” and “don’t pee in the house.” (Ask me again when they are eight months old) 🙂
“Have you been following the 225th General Assembly?”
Yes. I am a member of the PC(USA) Special Committee on Racism Truth and Reconciliation and served as one of the lead writers of the report. During the deliberations in the Race and Gender Justice Committee, I was able to offer off-site backup and prayer support to my colleagues while they resourced the committee. The report recommendations were passed with minor agreeable amendments. The written report can be found here: https://www.pc-biz.org/#/search/3000989, with comments from other entities of the PC(USA). It is our hope that the report itself, written in the format of a worship service, can serve as a discussion primer for those seriously assessing where they are in dismantling structural racism.
I was also able to follow deliberations around the Giddings-Lovejoy overture, “On Offering an Apology to African Americans for the Sin of Slavery and its Legacy,” which also passed the committee stage with minor and agreeable amendments (the document as will be presented to the plenary is here: https://www.pc-biz.org/#/search/3000895 along with comments from different entities of the PCUSA. I was able to experience both our wonderfully well-produced video presentation, and the impactful prepared remarks from both Vicky Michaels and Diane McCullough. I was particularly struck by the emotionality of the testimonies of those personally sharing how much this action means to them as a necessary step on the way to reparative action.
Both of these items will be taken up in July during the larger plenary online gathering where all commissioner and delegates will be able to give it a final vote. I look forward to touching base and checking-in with our faithful commissioners and delegate after the three groups of on-site travelers have made it safely home from Louisville!
“How are you finding the work of the presbytery?”
I am LOVING it. You do such faithful ministry, and every day I am affirmed of the sense of call that your Presbytery Leader Nominating Committee and I recognized together. Right now, I am continuing to use this first year on-boarding time to learn, consolidate, and clarify the policies of the presbytery and the changes made over the last few years so that that they are easily accessible to all and in one place (and not just hidden in past minutes and gathering documents). The need for this consolidation work is reflective of the many seasons of transition you have recently experienced, including but not limited to the pandemic disruptions (and revelations) and presbytery staff changes. This is a wonderful season to gain our bearings and take account of where we are. Right now, a lot of my attention has been on the ways we can honor the work done to both build and modify our presbytery structure so none of the commitments we have made to each other are lost, all the while ensuring our work together is flowing smoothly and is as approachable as possible. Stay tuned for an update on our Manual of Operations, our consolidated in-house guidelines for what we have already expressed we can expect from each other!
“When will you be taking vacation? Any plans?”
I will be taking vacation from July 11-July 31. I always found it best to take my leave time in larger blocks during the time of year that can match the vacation rhythms of many of our presbyters. It is also my best rhythm that is most productive for my own self-care (usually it can take a week or two to disconnect enough that I’m not thinking about my email all the time!). While this is also a time to get back to unpacking the boxes I’ve been ignoring since the first wave of moving, I want to be sure to spend time reading, breathing, training my puppies, and explore Missouri a little more. I need to keep reminding myself I’ve only been here about six months. 🙂 I expect to come back in August fully rested.
“What is the best way to contact you?”
Through the first week of July, and then again in August, I can be most quickly reached by my cell 314-409-9002, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. I do text on that number too!
Looking forward to being in touch with you again soon!
Rev. Ryan J. Landino
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy