Last month I wrote on what’s going to happen at the Special General Conference 2019 … well … it happened! Remember some of the key cautionary phrases from Rev. Ian Markham …
“They will turn it into this side won and this side lost
They’ll probably emphasize division & search for the angry voices on either side
Don’t feed into the winner/loser scenario
Honor the voices of those who are hurt and in pain as a result of the decisions Recognize that all these decisions carry enormous implications for fellowship, for faith, and for the continuing journey together”
A few days ago at our Conference Board of Laity meeting, I heard other lay leaders sharing their feelings, frustrations, and concerns about what just happened – some were optimistic, some were confused, and some were angry. But, we all agreed to focus on the following principles: We really have more in common than we realize, we should be in a listening/learning mode, we need to stifle the ‘us/them’ conversation, we need to partner with our clergy and act as one, and we need to consider this as a leadership moment and not forget the God-factor.
I recently read a short devotion, titled “I will not run with scissors;” where the author stated, “I held onto my rage and went through the motions of walking with Christ. But my resentment grew; I did my own thing and asked God to bless my feeble efforts to serve Him. At that time, I didn’t know how to respond to God’s efforts to prune me. Instead, I chose to lick my wounds harboring resentment and rehearsing the pain, even nursed my hurts and cursed my offender. My choice to hang on to bitterness, anger and resentment was like running with scissors. In hindsight, it would have been healthier to place my burdens on the shoulders of Jesus. Instead, I stuffed my pain which imploded and pierced me to the core. This was not how God wanted me to respond to His loving hand.”
The prayer that accompanied that short devotion is very appropriate for us today as we focus on the above principles recognizing that all these decisions carry enormous implications for fellowship, for faith, and for our continuing journey together. Let us pray
God, give me eyes to see how You are at work around me. Remind me of the greater story You are writing and show me how You want to write that story through me. Enlarge my vision and increase my desire to seek You and be part of seeing Your purposes come to pass. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader