The last three days have been a great time of relaxing, walking, and meeting people finding cool little places. One of my favorite hobbies is to just sit and talk with someone I don’t know and learn about them hear how they view the world and what is important. That has been fascinating up here. As many of you will see on Facebook I packed in as much as I could, but now the work begins.
The morning started with am moving presentation by the Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. I take the stance that I don’t think that divestment as a tool is helpful, especially after the last General Assembly. The problem that I see is that the energy spent talking about divestment could be better used to study, listen, and really come up with solutions. But as we know, in almost any organization, when money is the focus it often turns to a win or lose thing. I have written a lot about that.
What was neat was listening to two men, one a Palestinian Muslim Man and one Arab Christian. As they spoke it was powerful listening to their view of how BDS is more like a new form of colonialism from the west then it is liberation for the Palestinian people. It was interesting to hear the underlying implicit bias that exists in the whole discussion too. But I am sure I will write more about that later.
Worship was amazing! There were moments that I was moved to tears feeling the presence of the holy spirit. It was cool how they transitioned from the traditional service to a contemporary style at communion. They played all of the stuff we do at revive and I kind of lost myself in the moment! It was great. The theme of the conference is reconciliation, but I could not help but notice that we went from the old traditional to the new at the very point of the service where we witness being the body of Christ. Planned or not it represented a new day for the church in a powerful way.
The first day only has one exciting action all of the rest is organizational business. That exciting piece was the election of co-moderators. This is the first time that they had co-moderators and it is also the first time that two women were at the top of the ticket, both brilliant and relatable. It was a powerful moment and made me proud to be part of a church that is embracing its diversity, neither of the slates were all white and both made it clear that we are going to be an inclusive church.
That’s it for today.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen