By Don Remick
Associate Conference Minister, Massachusetts Conference
It's hazy in Tampa the day after the close of Synod. We accomplished the core work of any transforming institution: clarity on our identity and values and clarity on our vision and goals. Worship celebrations are always a highlight. We honored youth and young adults as well as those who are moving on. We reaffirmed and reengaged our perpetual focus on issues of justice. We do tend to spend more time talking about God than we do talking with God or offering praise and gratitude, but it is clear that many folks have a deep relationship with Christ.
We have streamlined our Governance to make it more fluid and flexible; more adaptable to the changing landscape. In it's new makeup it may not be representative of the people in our pews in the same way it once was. However, it will reflect the face of the 80-90% of those outside our walls who are wondering if a church could be relevant to them or the world.
And don't believe the news soundbites that speak of abandoning 'the Father'. Our language and our God is larger than any one term but still holds them all with the integrity of our theology and tradition.
I long for the day when each member of our churches (and our communities) could experience the Church as it is expressed in a gathering like this. Perhaps that will have to wait for the 'heavenly banquet'. But it was good to have a taste here.