I head to our polity’s regional convention this week.  I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it particularly.  I don’t like meetings, and I don’t like large groups of people.  I dislike posturing (political or otherwise) and too often the things that go on at these gatherings (every three years) are not in any way directly related to pastoral ministry in a congregation.

Needless to say I’m a poor salesperson for these events to my congregation, which is undoubtedly unfortunate.  I am grateful for the interest that our congregational leadership took in this event.  I am grateful for brother pastors to discuss things with both prior to and during the convention.

Walking together in the faith can be a pain in the butt.  It sounds noble and glorious and beautiful but it’s frankly a lot of work.  Just as it’s a lot of work to place yourself in a Christian community and allow yourself time to grow roots.  It’s a lot easier to stay at home than it is to get up and get to church.  Yet it is in church that we receive the gifts of God in Word and Sacrament, and where we learn very practical skills in loving our neighbor.  Likewise at various polity levels, it’s a lot easier to grouse about the inefficiency or waste or posturing and find excuses to not go.  But going reminds me and my congregation that we are not Lone Rangers, but rather part of a larger community of faith that is in turn part of the body of Christ.

As we learned firsthand in our Christian communal living experiment a decade ago, our cultural value of efficiency is rarely commensurate with learning to live with and love one another.  These abilities are messy and take time and are never truly perfect.  So I am grateful for a polity that deals with my warts – congregationally and professionally – yet welcomes me with the grace of Christ.  May I keep that in mind this week!

2 Responses to “Convention-Bound”

  1. ruth bartz Says:

    I am prayerful that the convention, on some level, in some way not only discusses today’s Supreme Court’s decision, but provides guidance.

    • mrpaulnelson Says:

      There was not enough time to really address it, though the Synodical President has released a preliminary statement. At this point, we are encouraged to stay the course, being particularly mindful of the many complications today’s ruling creates.

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