It is only 1pm and I have already had so many interesting experiences
1. Audrey led the early morning worship for GLAD this morning at 7:30 am and it was such a good way to start the day. She used the same text from last night's sermon by Brian McClaren....Luke 10. She basically read it slowly and asked questions of it for us to ponder. There was a phrase about how we are lcalled to go as "sheep among the wolves" and Even though that is a human experience for everyone, it is certainly especially true of the LBGTI community. And using that thought I know that sometimes I am living as a vulnerable sheep, but often I can be a predatory wolf. Hard truth..Most important is the fact that we are all called to go out in love and when we do and when we are received....there is peace and theKingdom of God is near.
2. I went to the business session this morning which contained a video and a conversation on immigration. Every person who entered the convention center was given a role to play of a person in then immigration controversy. I was a poorly educated middle aged Italian American man seeking employment and feeling that illegal immigrants were taking jobs away. Another man was an undocumented young person who could not getnhelp for college because he could not prove his birth in America. Another man was a Mexican woman who was separated from her husband who lived in America and sent money home. I could go on and on about this, but basically the exercise made me think about all the varied dimensions of the discussion. That isncertainly one of the blessings of this assembly....it makes me wrestle as a pastor (and privileged woman) about this
3. I heard professor SoonChan Rah speak on the North American church and it's captivity to Western cultural trappings. I learned that while some churches are in decline in the US, not all are. The ones in decline are the white European church, the ones in ascendancy are the multi-cultural churches. He quoted a book by Walter Brueggemann about churches of celebration and churches of suffering and how we need to be both. One of the big issues for us is about learning how to share power. There was much for me to think about as I look at my own life and ministry.
4. I had lunch with Audrey and the speaker for the GLAD banquet tonight - Mel White. I knew him as a gay activist from Lynchburg who spoke at the coming out service Audrey organized last October. I did not know he had been in the Amazing Race (twice!) or that he had ghostwritten 25 books, or how charming he was. It was a great blessing for me just to be at the lunch. He had nothing but praise for Audrey and, as always, I am proud to be her Mom.
Great day so far....rich