19 October 2009
Living Together In Disagreement
We are now nearly two months removed from the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Life together continues, even amidst disagreement. But it's interesting how the ELCA's decision to move forward on allowing monogamously partnered gay and lesbian people to serve in rostered ministry pops up in the most interesting places. Saturday night, at the Iowa State -Baylor football game, I was working in the Lutheran Campus Ministry concessions booth when an obviously intoxicated student found out we were the ELCA campus ministry. He was a member of Beta Sigma Psi, the Lutheran fraternity, and amidst the slurred descriptions of how happy he was to find us, he blurted out, "We're not hating on gays here, are we?" After assuring him that the concession stand wasn't the place to "hate on gays," and that, in fact, our campus ministry is an open and affirming ministry, he heaved a sigh of relief and staggered off to find his friends. Or throw up on something. I'm not sure which. *grin*
It just shows how you never, ever know who's watching or what people are thinking about the church. Tonight we'll join the Presbyterian, United Methodist and Roman Catholic campus ministries and the Atheist & Agnostic Association for a conversation about dating at a local coffee shop. You wonder - who might be watching, and what might they think about the church if they overhear us in conversation, disagreeing but not hating on each other? On the one hand, the church doesn't engage in these types of conversations as an evangelism tool, but I can't help but hope someone might be impressed enough to come see what else is happening in a place where we can live in disagreement respectfully.
This morning, the ELCA News Service shared a story of two pastors trying to figure out how to live in our church together. It's worth the read. And have a great day, everyone.
Grace & peace,
Photo credits: AP Photo/Dawn VIllella