The General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 2015, Columbus, Ohio is now behind us. It is time for individual congregations of our treasured tradition to live out the theme and biblical directive: Let us soar!!
Biased on Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles…” we are challenged to embrace the cataclysm of evolving post-religious culture, to let go of the comforts of the nests, and with the breath of God inspiring, to soar!
This message flying into the fray is both pastoral and prophetic. Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, our General Minister and President challenged our church saying, “We could do much more if we if we would quit worrying about survival – we must put mission first.” Rev. Dr. William Barber, a Disciples pastor, NAACP leader, and Moral Monday creator assailed our church saying, “We got a heart problem when we’re in a country that sings about God’s grace being shed on us but then keeps trying to deny grace to immigrants and grace to the LGBT community and grace to women’s rights.” Rev. Adam Hamilton, United Methodist pastor from a mega Kansas City church boldly suggested, “You can neither have the evangelical gospel without the social gospel; nor the social gospel without the evangelical gospel.”
I must admit, I’ve heard Isaiah 40:31 abused so often by way of proof-texting regressive agendas and generally made cute for consumerist profit that before this past week’s proclamation I had grown apathetic to its reading. However, the good news of soaring proclaimed to a people in exile has now become a vivid a picture, and I have resolved three practical and consequential pastoral actions:
- I will be blogging my thoughts on some of the Sense-of-the-Assembly Resolutions next week. Please follow along at fccdm.org. We will supply printed copies in the narthex on Sunday, August 2.
- I am requesting the Executive Committee mobilize a Justice in Action Committee for the review, study, and activate a response to three Resolutions similar in subject:
- I request all of our worship, nurture, and service programming review, study, and to continue on-going efforts aimed at Becoming a People of Welcome and Support to People with Mental Illness and/or Mental Health Issues, GA-1523.
Friends, “the Lord gives power to the faint, and strength to the powerless,” therefore, let us gain loft from the Spirit and soar! Soar not for congregational or self aggrandizement; rather soar for the stakes of dehumanizing, oppressive, and isolating realities are too high for too many of our neighbors for us to remain in the nests of comfort, indecision, or indifference. Let us soar!!