By Ivy Tillman
Member of the First Congregationl Church, Amherst, UCC
So far,it's been a roller coaster, a whirlwind few days, full of wonder, joy, laughter, singing, inspiration, instruction, some modicum of sadness, some tears with no relation to sadness, reconnection with old friends, meeting up with new friends and colleagues. I have, with others, entered into dialogue around topics about which i thought i had much knowledge, but found that in sharing understanding with Synod-mates from around the globe, my perspectives have altered.
Speaking specifics will make this the longest blog post ever. I wish that i could hold you all in my pocket, so that you could see things unfold as i do. Speakers have talked about how God has imagined impossibilities into BEING among them! The little engine that could joined forces with Justice and Mercy - and not a small measure of Hope - giving their all ('cause God wants no less than our all!) to create and DARE to imagine the world and church God wants for us into life! I sit in the middle of all this happening and feel very small, but also very thankful that i can have this experience of the wider church, wishing we did not have to wrestle with things like frequency of Synod and making a choice between diversity with expertise or representation, and fearing how that will change the face of what the UCC has become/is becoming.
So,today, as we move into imagining what is possible for the new governance structure of the UCC - because I think when all is said and done, we will be going there - one fear that I have is how we will define expertise. My hope, today, is that in working together, we can allow ourselves to hear the stories of all our people and that we can keep our ears, eyes and hearts open to discern God’s definitions of expertise. Cause really, “God is still speaking. God is still. God is…God”. (j. Bennett Guess, 7/1/11, GS28) I hope we keep listening.
Ivy Tillman is a member of the First Congregationl Church, Amherst, UCC.