Within the United Church of Christ, the various expressions of the church relate to each other in a covenantal manner. Each expression of the church has responsibilities and rights in relation to the others, to the end that the whole church will seek God’s will and be faithful to God’s mission. Decisions are made in consultation and collaboration among the various parts of the structure. As members of the Body of Christ, each expression of the church is called to honor and respect the work and ministry of each other part. Each expression of the church listens, hears, and carefully considers the advice, counsel, and requests of others. In this covenant, the various expressions of the United Church of Christ seek to walk together in all God’s ways.
When I finally climbed into my car to drive away, I flipped on NPR to hear a repeated snippet inquiring how social media has played into the protests in Libya. It might not seem connected, but it is for me. In the world around me, it seems that people of every faith and no faith want connection. They want to understand the dynamics of the human spirit. They want to know why anyone would protest and risk their life in that way. They want to hear the story in your words — not from a reporter who audaciously claims that words don’t matter. I heard that on CNN last night. I completely disagree. Words do matter. The ways we express ourselves are revolutionary. We can change hearts and minds with the ways that we choose to tell our stories.
This is why I believe in church. I believe communities can be transformed in the ways that they listen to each other. As the Apostle Paul is known to have said, we find Christ in the ways that we speak truth in love. I’m called to be the leader that encourages that truth telling. I’m one of the leaders who reminds the community I serve about the power of love. Admittedly, that’s a lot to digest but I find strength in the reminder offered by the Alban Institute in my email this morning. In Pathways to Leadership that Lasts, I’m reminded to take the path toward authenticity. I can only be myself. I can only be completely myself amid all of the changes that our churches and communities face. So, here it is. In these words, you can hear my inner struggle. I don’t have any answers either but I do know I believe in love. I believe that love comes from God and that love will somehow make tomorrow possible.