Beginnings

Yesterday seems like a blur. I rushed from the airport to the 2030 Clergy Network Pre-Synod Gathering. I was late so I missed worship on the beach but I was blessed to participate in two wonderful conversations. I have spent more time and energy being ecumenical with The Young Clergy Women Project that it feels a but strange to be with young clergy only from my own tradition. And there were men. But the conversations were blessed and I’m grateful.

This afternoon, we began the business in the first two plenary sessions. The beginnings of meetings always feel awkward with the formal greetings to visitors and friends. We spend a good amount of time honoring our elders — and then try to figure out how to vote making us all feel old with the strange blessing of technology. As the meetings began, I wondered if there was another way to do this. Is this a good use of our time together? Or could we celebrate these blessed voices in another way? But there’s always a balance. We need to hear those voices. We need to see those leaders. We need to be connected. So we heard from two of the leaders that we will vote on. (I had thought that would happen right away. I was wrong.) Tonight we heard from the nominees for the Minister of Local Church Ministries and Minister of Wider Church Ministries. These are different offices and very different speeches. I wonder if I am more compelled by the Local Church Ministries candidate because I am in the local church. I get excited about it. I love the challenge. Wider Church Ministries, on the other hand, is something I struggle with. I always have. Something about this mission doesn’t fit with my enthusiasm for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s be honest though. The world context doesn’t exactly view the gospel like I do. Sadly. Still, I fear we aren’t doing all we could in our world so that “they may all be one.” I didn’t find the word of the proposed candidate to challenge my already present frustrations with this area of our church’s ministry.

Tomorrow morning at 6:46 am, the Maine Conference Delegation will meet to digest these things. We’ll talk about the educational forums we attended on our assigned resolutions. I am already feeling full with the energy here. I know that there is good news in our church. I thank God for that.

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