This Christian Education program year we began with the theme, “You are a lamp unto my feet” and the overarching theme of the year was the word “covenant”. I consider this has been a year of great strides realizing both of those dreams in the life of our church.
Through a long process of discussion our by-laws were re-written to reflect both our actual practice and hoped-for transformation. We know that there are some quirks to yet be worked out— likely, minor changes to the bylaws will be suggested in our next congregational meeting. In making changes to our operating procedures we allowed for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the expediency of need to serve our selves and beyond. Working with one another, ironing out quirks, allowing one another to speak… these are all parts of being in covenant. Always agreeing and making snap judgments is not what inclusive community is about. When we’re in covenant we air our differences—not hide them; we struggle through differences—not around them; and we move in the direction the greater part of us decides. There are, at times, casualties in covenant. Some persons lose their sense of what Marcus Borg calls “pre-critical naïveté”—that state of being where we believe what we’ve always believed because an authority figure once told us to. Some persons react by rejecting what was once considered “home”. Some persons accept what they perceive as a minor alteration to their lifestyle. Some persons embrace the transformation and sprout new flowers.
Part of our covenant is with the other churches of our Middlesex Association, the Connecticut Conference and the other churches of the United Church of Christ via the “General Synod”. The General Synod is the gathered body of delegates from all the Associations and Conferences of the UCC. I will be one of those delegates (clergy delegate for the Middlesex Association) from June 26 through June 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The General Synod speaks “to us” as a local church not “for us”. Part of our covenant with the General Synod is to do what we do around here as a gathering-- working with one another, ironing out quirks, allowing one another to speak…
Thank you for being in covenant with me and one another. I know that we are re-creating the church of Jesus Christ with each transformation as called to do so by the Holy Spirit.
May you blossom in the Spirit,