Friday, February 5, 2010

Reflections on the GA Special Committee Experience

So, now that others have weighed in on what they perceive the work of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Special Committee on Civil Unions and the Definition of Christian Marriage to signify, I think I can safely comment here on the experience without trying to defend myself or what we have done. Some random reflections:
  1. It is really hard to talk to somebody when you know that you are being watched, and your words are being recorded. Some conversations are difficult when they are put into a gladiatorial arena. Part of what I feel best about what we accomplished is our ability, which grew over time, to not give in to the crowd, but to actually talk to one another without concern for the spectators.
  2. Disagreements, even disagreements which are impossible to resolve, do not have to devolve into warfare. The fundamental disagreement among us did not require any of us to forsake relationship, or worship, or fellowship with each other. Just because we cannot agree does not mean that one subset of us has to leave.
  3. I am heartbroken, but thankful, to learn how much I do love and appreciate being a part of Christ's Church, the PC(USA), in which for 30 years I feel that I have been perceived as a dangerous stranger. I hope and pray that something of what we have said and done will bless this Body of Christ, if not now, then some day.
  4. I cannot even begin to plumb the depths of my first statement when Frances picked me up from the airport-- "I am SO GLAD to be home!" So much of what Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church has taught me is in what I wrote; so much of how I participated in this process (that I participated at all!) was due to the witness of the saints who worshipped and fellowshipped, and built friendships across racial barriers even while their own neighborhoods were falling apart in fear and anger. I am home here. I know where I belong.

We tried to call the Presbyterian Church (USA) to remember our First Love, that Love that has broken down the walls of hostility between us. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.