Today the General Assembly of the Christian Church opens in Nashville under the theme -- Tell It! That's a calling that many of us need to hear, for Mainliners have more apt to keep our light hidden under a bushel basket than let it shine in the world. I expect we'll get some opportunity to tell our stories and hear the stories of others, all in preparation for telling the story elsewhere.
General Assemblies, like most denominational gatherings, have worship, business, and educational sessions. Some of us look forward to events like this so we can reconnect with old friends from college and seminary, or maybe we are looking for opportunities to network with people whose vision for ministry is similar to our own. One of the major items of business is the re-election of our General Minister and President, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, to a second and final six-year term. I'm looking forward to this opportunity to reaffirm the calling with which she was called at the Portland Assembly in 2005, making her the first woman to lead a mainline denomination (it should be noted that Pentecostal churches long ago had done this, but the glass ceiling had been broken). Sharon has represented us well, and she's tried to guide us on a very difficult journey of transition and transformation. I realize that some think the church has gone too far -- while others think we've not gone far enough fast enough, especially when it comes to the full inclusion of GLBT folks into the life of the church. But there is movement and that is good.
I've got a few things to do myself! First, my congregation is sponsoring a booth for Motown Mission, hoping to build upon this year's Peace Week to invite other Disciples churches to join us next year in Motown to do mission. I'll not be working much in the booth, but I want to make sure people know about it!! The second area is my participation in the Learning Track #2, which is entitled: “Can Disciples Congregations Find New Life in Mission?” If you're at the Assembly and not involved elsewhere, come and join us!
Finally, so you have a chance to see what's happening, let me share a video from the Assembly website -- an invitation from Sharon herself to come to the Assembly:
So, see you in Nashville!! That is if you're coming!