You might say it’s humid when you walk out of a building and your glasses fog up. It was only 7:30 pm. And the air conditioning is making me cold.
This was an early morning as I had to be at Communion Minister Training at 7:00 am. Then a few minutes for breakfast before an 8:00 plenary session. We began to work on resolutions this morning. We voted to reject the “Doctrine of Discovery,” (i.e. That Columbus ‘discovered’ America) as failed theology and apologize as a church to native peoples.
Then we heard from the task force working on conversation between the Roman Catholic Church and the ELCA. They have produced a document called Declaration on the Way, which outlines the places where our theology is the same, and where we still have a long way to go. The Bishop of Iglesia Luterana El Salvador spoke about the suffering of his country and the hope the church provided, and we heard about AMMPARO, a project that provides accompaniment and legal counsel to unaccompanied minor immigrants, as well as working to stem some of the problems that drive them from their homes to cross the US border. All this before worship at 11:00.
Workshops and presentations again all afternoon, and evening, too.
Worship was amazing – jazz and fabulous preaching – “The Kingdom of God is not about being right, it is about relationship,” from the text of the Prodigal Son. I got to serve communion to more people than a regular Sunday morning, and I was just one of 20 stations. The singing was so moving. “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling,” made me tear up.
What a privilege to be here on the church’s business. Bishops, pastors, young people and old people with one purpose: to share God’s love with the world and to make our church the best way to be Jesus together. My Oregon Synod colleagues are serious and fun, really invested in making our church policy match our own witness to the work of God in our hearts and lives.