This year I’ll be spending YET ANOTHER 4th of July with Mennonites. That’s because 4th of July is often when Mennonites schedule their assemblies and conventions. From what I understand this is done on purpose because there is often a discount attached, sometimes a sizable one. I guess convention centers figure that MOST people have better things to do over the holiday than to have delegate sessions, workshops, and worship service after worship service after worship service.
So early Friday morning it’s off to Waxahachie, TX for the Western District Conference annual assembly. I didn’t see fireworks on the schedule but you never know what kind of symbolic fireworks we’ll set off Saturday afternoon when we present our Rainbow resolution regarding same-sex unions and pastoral leadership. I will post more about this next week, as well as offer some thoughts regarding the following press release issued by MCUSA Executive Board today: EBReport_June30_2014(1) I confess that my heart is heavy following this release. Sometimes I can write with a heavy heart, other times it’s more difficult. Today it’s more difficult. I join those like Luke Yoder who pray with a heavy heart, but an “ongoing optimism that love will prevail.”
Of course that is how I approach holidays like 4th of July–with a heavy heart. I know I’m not the only one who feels ambivalent and uncertain at times about topics like faith, allegiance, citizenship, patriotism, peace, war, etc. Jesse expresses this beautifully in this week’s bulletin cover image.
I’m grateful that Leroy Seat has agreed to preach this Sunday and not only that, offer his reflections on this question: Am I doing this right? Mennonites and 4th of July.
Indeed saddened by the recent press release…wishing that our Menno leadership could come to a position that ALL persons have pastoral gifts to share with this world – how sad to think they are not welcomed by the church leadership…wonder where this will lead MCUSA and it’s member congregations who will continue to be “at variance”…