Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assembly - Day 4

i thank You God for most this amazing day

That's the title of an e.e. cummings poem that's always been a favorite of mine. The words were set to music by a man named Eric Whitacre; this was one of the songs that I heard sung by the National Lutheran Choir in an amazing hymn festival at Central Lutheran Church this evening. I can't begin to tell you how glorious this concert was. Heaven couldn't possibly be any better. My favorite part of such an event is always the congregational singing. I suppose it's a distinctively Lutheran thing because when you fill a church with Lutherans from all over the country who love to sing in four parts... well, I'm at a loss for the words to describe it. Throughout the event I kept wishing that all the dear people from Holy Trinity in Charlotte could have been with me to experience it. This sort of thing just doesn't happen on such a grand scale in North Carolina. It was a wonderful ending to the day.

Everyone is waiting to see what will happen tomorrow. I expect that the vote on the ministry proposals will be taken. The tone of the assembly is positive. I sense that the voting members just want to get on with it.

If there has been a theme of this assembly, it's been unity. In our daily communion services and in lots of other ways we're being reminded again and again of our call to work together as Christ's body and to hang together even when we disagree. That's true for the entire assembly, and particularly for the folks at Goodsoil. They know how it feels to be on the losing side of this battle for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church and, should they be on the winning side this time, there is a lot of concern for showing compassion for those who might be feeling like this is the end of the world.

Tomorrow, when the vote is announced, those of us in the plenary hall can't react in any way. That's one of the rules of the assembly -- a good rule that respects the feelings of those who are on the losing side of an issue. So, we'll have to calmly hear the vote announced and then wait for a break so we can rush up to the Goodsoil office and, hopefully, do a happy dance together. I'm wondering if I have it in me to do this. I don't know how I'll be able to control myself. I may have to watch on the T.V. monitor in the Goodsoil room. From what I hear, they have given out 1,000 visitor passes and they expect to run out of space for all to be seated in the plenary room tomorrow. I hope to be there, but we'll see.


Robert Brown said...

I'm very satisfied about the brave and humanitarian move the Lutheran Church made this week. This is still an issue in the Presbyterian Church, where I was an elder who left last year rather than argue with the majority in my home church who were against the ordination of gay members. I am not gay but I didn't feel comfortable supporting a church where the majority of the elders and congregation were so strongly against the ordination of gays that they made their stance public in the community.

You're doing wonderful work. This is truly good news.

Sandra said...

Nancy, there is a wonderful hymn sing every year during Music Week at Lutheridge. David Cherwien has actually led it several times.