Thursday, July 15, 2010

A post-GA reflection

Editor's note: this note is posted anonymously upon request. We pray for the day that it could be posted with full attribution.

For my witness at GA, I coined the term guerilla worship. I love
leading worship, whether it's a whole service or just a brief moment
of God-ness, and I wanted to bring that into every corner of the

Most of the ideas I had didn't really feel appropriate most of the
week, but then Friday came around and the mood shifted. The
ordination amendment had passed, and the marriage discussion had been
abruptly and decisively cut off the night before when everyone decided
they were too tired. Suddenly it felt necessary for me to stand
outside the plenary hall with a sign offering FREE PRAYERS.

I hadn't known what to expect, exactly. People began to smile, and I
smiled back, and a few people approached me to thank me for my witness
and my presence. Every now and then, someone would stop and say, "I
need your prayers right now." I asked what they needed to pray for,
and sometimes just speaking their needs and hopes aloud seemed to lift
a huge burden from their shoulders.

And then I would hold their hands, or lay my hands on their shoulders
or head, and we would pray. I did not know any of the people I prayed
with, but it didn't matter. I asked God's Spirit to be on them, and I
felt God with and around us as we connected for this brief moment.
After one nice prayer, the gentleman lifted his head and said, "You're
serious, aren't you!" Yes, I was, and I am.

Once I had prayed for a few people, I felt something change in the way
I looked at the commissioners streaming past me into the hall. I
looked at each of them with pastoral, loving eyes, ready to speak
prayers for each person, holding those prayers in my heart. I felt
like I was praying, in those moments, for the entire PC(USA).

And now I am beginning another round of essays for my ordination
committee, with no idea what to expect as I discern the best way to
come out to them. I don't know how much longer I'll be waiting until
I can find a call to a church. I am trying not to be anxious about
that not knowing, which of course is easier said than done.

I don't know how long it will be until I can find a church that wants
to pay me to work with them, but until then I will be standing
outside, offering prayers for free.

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