This is a first blog post for me. I intend to use this space to address issues of our day and to "love on" the congregation I am blessed to serve.
Within organizations, particularly the church, we want to be (at least appear) nice. We don't want to make waves, draw too much attention upon ourselves. It is for this reason, too many are conflict averse. It takes courage to confront another. Even when we intend to "speak the truth in love," it takes courage. The more I learn about this congregation, the more I am impressed with its courage.
This congregation exudes courage in the pulpit and in the pew. In the 1960's the pastor of this congregation spoke out in favor of Open Housing, standing against the prevailing xenophobia and racism of his day. It split the congregation, yet the congregation remains with those who were in favor of Open Housing. In 2006 the baptism of the child of a lesbian couple culminated with a vote to leave the United Church of Christ (UCC). The vote failed 160-14. The congregation remains in the UCC with the child and his two moms. The issue was finally settled with a vote to become Open and Affirming in 2014.
How has this congregation survived through such conflict? Courage is in its DNA. It has the courage to confront the pressing social issues of each new day and has the courage to live the love and faith, learned in the pew, throughout its life. I am honored and blessed to serve as its Pastor, even in an Interim capacity.
On the journey,