This morning I woke up with a massive headache! What an omen to a start to another crazy the day in the Middle East committee. After a couple Excedrin and some allergy meds, I was off to run to make my committee. The morning has been something else with impassioned speeches for and against Divestment, and of course I said my peace, which as the spirit moved had me speak, but for most of you that should not be a surprise.
What breaks my heart in the discussion is the lack of God and discernment (sorry folks who are getting sick of that word). The essence of my speech hit on something that had not heard by others and that is our focus on money as a church. Basically my frustration that as a minister, “I’m sick of money doing our mission.” To be honest, I don’t remember what I said, but I am sure I will hear what the spirit allowed others to hear. However, I have already heard how many others wish as a church we could get away from money, numbers, etc. and get to the business God calls us to.
Saying my peace, the rest of the committee chimed in, though many agreed, the committee decided to move for divestment, but worth a clear understanding that the reason for divestment was that we do not want our money in companies that profit from war. At the end it was a very hard struggle for me. I have passionate friends on both sides and while I do not like divestment, and I really do think the denominational representatives were WAY out of bounds with their involvement, The committee crafted a good compromise document that talks far more about positive engagement then negative. Many of us, including me, were moved by the cooperative nature. My only real lament is that a young youth advisory delegate called the question before any discussion.
I think without that a substitute motion will be brought, and everything will be undone and we will go for one of the other motions with to me were just bad. Here is praying for us not to do something stupid that will paint us into a corner on this issue.
Finishing the rest of the committee work was fast paced and sometimes confusing. With the moderators desire to finish we rushed through the rest of the items, which was good but left some a little unnerved. However, we did finish and I think all was good. Now we will wait to see what happens on the floor of the GA.
Tonight was AWESOME, and reminded me what a great presbytery I am in. I had a great dinner with my fellow presbyters. They are an awesome bunch of people.
Tomorrow the REAL fun begins as we move to the First Plenary session, this means that I have a morning of cramming as much information into my head as I can so that I know what is going on with all of the changes modifications and motions that will be brought before GA.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen