By The Rev. Jean Niven Lenk
Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stoughton, United Church of Christ.
It is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. And while many Americans are celebrating our nation’s democracy by enjoying such traditions as fireworks and barbecues, today I join almost a thousand other GS delegates in participating in a democratic process.
Democracy in the abstract is exhilarating – freedom is a gift; the right to vote cherished; the ability to worship and speak and live as we so choose beloved aspects of our country.
But today, the democratic process has, in the reality, been…. tedious and tiring; the debate sometimes contentious and uncomfortable; the amendments and appeals and procedures sometimes confusing. Such is the hard work of a democratic system.
And in an ironic twist on this Fourth of July, our electronic voting system has encountered a number of glitches. (Back to holding up our delegate cards.)
While our country is built on a democratic framework, I would not call the UCC a “democracy.” Indeed, as I say at the beginning of every congregational meeting at the local church I serve, we are to vote – gathered and guided by the Holy Spirit – not our will, but what we discern to be God’s will.
In the votes Synod takes tonight and tomorrow, may the Holy Spirit who has gathered us continue to guide us in our work, our discernment, and our decision-making.
We invite users of this website to post comments in response to posts published here. In order to maintain a respectful community, we insist that comments be polite, respectful and tolerant of opposing viewpoints. We reserve the right to remove comments that are hostile, hateful or abusive to others, or that constitute personal attacks. In the interest of transparency, we highly recommend that users comment using their full names. For those who feel a need for more anonymity, however, we will allow posts using first names and last initial.
Main Office: 1 Badger Road, Framingham, MA 01702, General Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 508-875-5233, 508-875-5485 (fax)
This web site is a ministry of the churches of the Massachusetts Conference, supported by your contributions to the wider church.
Permission granted to local churches to copy materials for their own use. Please direct questions or comments about this site to Tiffany Vail