I’m not sure how I’m feeling right now…
I was at the Cape Breton edition of the Nova Scotia Leadership Prayer Breakfast this morning. Always an enjoyable event, this year I was in the presence of Cindy Klassen, multiple Olympic medalist, and her sister Lisa who shared their journeys of recent years, including the circumstances surrounding Lisa’s near death experience in a car accident and their families faith through that time and since. Wonderful stories of faith in difficult times and how God is using them through it all.
As usual at larger Christian events in the area, I make my connections with pastors and friends from other churches, usually the more evangelical ones. I also introduce myself to people I haven’t met before.
This year a number of people (including those I thought to be complete strangers) told me they have been praying for me. Telling me I’m doing good work and to “keep going”.
As I left the building, it felt good knowing people know who I am and are praying for me. But now that I’m home, I’m a bit troubled by the other comments. The one’s like, “You’ve got it tough”, “keep going”, “don’t give up” and it makes me wonder what they are seeing or hearing, not just about me, but rather about the United Church in this area.
I suppose in a way I’ve brought some of this on myself with my public statements about the state of the church in general and of my own denomination. I know some of them have read them. (*hi!*)
To be honest, say what you will about me. I can live with it. Over the years, people have loved me, people have hated me. I’ve got thick skin and can deal with it. So that’s not the problem here.
I guess what I’m wondering is, what do they see as “tough”? What do they see I’m fighting against?
I’m probably going to be making calls next week to find out. I want to know more about how people see the church I am speaking about.
But let me get this straight first. I love the church I serve. I fully embrace and believe that God is alive and well in the world and he is calling me to particular activities within the church built by the Risen Christ. I’ve had my chances to explore other denominations over the years, but this is where I am called to serve.
I believe the United Church of Canada can once again be a prophetic voice in our nation. I want it to be a prophetic voice in our nation, proclaiming Jesus as Lord and bringing people back into relationship with God through the Son.
Do I believe we have everything in order to be able to do this?
Will we ever be perfect?
Of course not. What organization on this earth is?
I love the people of the United Church of Canada. I have met hundreds upon hundreds of people who are good, wonderful, faithful people. These are the people I am here for. There are the people I want to share my life with. These are beautiful people who are hungry for the Spirit of the Risen Lord.
So what am I standing up against? I’m standing up against the bureaucracies we have built which have become idols for some and barriers for others, all blocking people from coming into relationship with our amazing God and the grace and love he offers so freely.
I’m standing up for the lost and I want to find ways in which we can bring them home. This is something we all need to strive for, no matter what denomination we are.
Photo by http://www.sxc.hu/profile/bigevil600