Yesterday brought out many emotions from many people. We heard stories of the previous days Holy Conferencing, and the unfortunate side effects of a process that should be a comforting experience. Stories were shared of hurt and wounds by those who felt that being authentic was important. Delegates who identify as LGBTQ shared of feeling bullied, harrassed, and demeaned. It was a tense moment on the floor, lead by the very gracious Mark Miller. His courage to bring this to the General Conference’s attention was amazing. It only further showed the divisions we have, and the need for self-examination of who we are as God’s church.
In the midst of the tension, our evening worship began. The Holy Spirit was present in the convention center. Tears were shed and some anxiety lessened. However, the deep desire for change by so many in the church continues on, encouraged to press on as wounds and scars are shown. Bishop Hoshibata shared a message that even caught me off guard. He displayed a level of leadership that was desperately needed, and explicitly called on us to live out our faith by welcoming all people, and not caring who people love. Jesus calls us to be God’s healing oil to others. This night reminded me of why General Conference is the best and the worst of the church.
Grace and Peace,