Sunday, July 19, 2015

BLOGFORCE Challenge: Resurrection at General Convention 78

In the latest BLOGFORCE challenge, the Acts 8 Moment asks: Where did you see resurrection at General Convention?

At this point it's not at all original to observe that the tone at the 78th General Convention was remarkably positive - that even though we were dealing with big issues that have caused no shortage of conflict in the past (most notably but not solely issues of same sex marriage) - it seemed that parties on both sides have laid down arms and looked for ways to move forward in relationship with one another.

I want to share one aspect of how that actually played out for me at convention. One of the things that excited me most about the Acts 8 gathering at the 2012 convention in Indianapolis was that people from a wide variety of theological persuasions attended to pray for the church without any other agenda. The same happened at this convention. While I guess I fall on the progressive-ish side of the church, that is something that gives me a lot of hope, because it tells me there is a desire to work together toward the furthering of God's kingdom across our disagreements.

At this convention deputies and bishops made a deliberate effort to treat each other not as adversaries but collaborators. By happenstance as much as anything Bishop Greg Brewer - among the Bishops with a more traditional understanding of marriage (and a signer of the Salt Lake City statement) -  and I had a productive interaction in the "House of Twitter." As it was growing late on the final legislative day, some friends and I observed with anxiety that D004, a piece of legislation to study and reform the process of electing bishops, had not advanced in the House of Bishops, despite being passed by the deputies days before. We'll let Storify take it from here:

Where I see resurrection in all this - it's a small but meaningful example of working in common cause across difference in perspectives (and, for that matter, across orders of ministry) for the good of Christ's church. I hope for greater things than these.

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