Thursday, October 28, 2010

It’s my blog so I’ll cry if I want to

Last night, I attended the installation of the new moderator for the Uniting Church of South Australia. Being from a different denomination background, a “baptist-on-loan”, these occasions are truly fascinating.

I tend to approach them as “research opportunities”, a chance to explore the spirituality of another part of God’s mosaic. But somehow last night, I found myself whacked sideways by emotion.

It happened as the outgoing moderator was being released. This involved some words, and then the invitation for his wife and church family to come forward and receive him back. Which they did, standing and coming forward to exchange hugs and handshakes.

And I started crying. (It’s my blog, so I can share this if I want to!)

I think I’m still grieving not being part of the Opawa Baptist church community. I think I’m still finding being in Australia and in this new context very difficult. As are my family. It’s not easy following Jesus. Especially when following is a cost not just to an individual, but to a family and a community.

Church history is full of leaders full of ego and ambition. Church history is also full of leaders dragged away from what they loved, in order to serve the church. (For more on this, see a reflection I wrote earlier this year on Gregory). The church is a demanding mistress and it was moving for me to see some dimension of these demands being visibly named last night.

So thanks, Uniting church, for being demanding, fascinating and for helping me cry 🙂

Posted by steve at 11:49 AM