(Sigh) What a way to begin this post, right? (Sigh)
I've been talking with a dear friend about Annual Conference. Also listening to the 'spin' that comes with each of our interpretations. I have been so glad to see how forthright the conference coverage has been from the official source. It is refreshing to see an honest addressing of our difficulties and open reporting of our differences. Annual Conference Coverage There was also a recent email about the death threat to one of our members.
What isn't on the official site, is the undercurrent created by those outraged that a man, Bob Krouse, was nominated from the floor of conference and elected over the two women who had been chosen by the Nominating Committee and affirmed by Standing Committee. What is also not stated is that in every ballot 'contest' where a woman was running against a man, the man was elected.
At a conference where the theme was extending Jesus' table, we certainly seemed to spend a lot of time taking leaves out of the CoB table. It's getting ever smaller in here.
We could say it is also getting more unified. In my most cynical observations, the straight, white, male brothers who were NOT excluded from conference events, should be looking pretty unified at this point. Like I said, cynical, aren't I? (sigh)
I also do believe what I wrote in the sermon (previous post, see below) that God is 'still sowing' and can use even the rockiest, thorn-infested ground to accomplish God's harvest. Perhaps, even though God can use such 'rotten' ground, God doesn't have to like sowing among the thorns, huh?
I guess I'm not 'over it'. (sigh) But there is a group of welcoming, affirming, good-hearted sisters and brothers at Arlington CoB. We are not of one-mind on gay-marriage. We don't all read the scripture one-way. We don't all like the same version of the Bible. We don't all like the same kind of music in worship and out. We don't all look alike, we don't come from the same cultures, or background. Many have a history with the Church of the Brethren. Many do not. They just put a priority on relationships. They believe in living their love; in the congregation and outside of it. These people 'feed me' and keep me sane, when I get twisted up in a currently thorny denomination.
So I SIGH with relief that I've been welcomed into ACoB and partnered with such good people in ministry. It the best environment anyone could pray for, TBTG!