The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Posted: July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

And so the many congregations of the Disciples of Christ gather to be a congregation of congregations. And there is good worship, and civil discourse – faithful conversations – about issues relevant and sometimes disputed, and lots of reunion with friends across the years. I conversed with friends from four congregations I’ve served. Some of them are joyful and some are struggling. Age has caught up with many the way age does. But love abides.

What I forget, and am reminded when I attend a General Assembly every two years, is just how diverse we are as a congregation of congregations. All of us live in our own contexts, and much of the time we experience much sameness. But not at the General Assembly. There is a national, world congregation in attendance. And we are becoming more ethnically diverse all the time. Most of the newly forming congregations are ethnic ones. Our leadership is diverse. And we are becoming the mosaic that the body of Christ may become, perhaps not in one location, one time, but in all of us when you put us together.

It’s always enjoyable to worship in another Disciples congregation, as I did Sunday morning. The liturgy at Vine Street Christian Church was elegant classic worship at its best. What a treat to sit among the congregation and worship.

My golly, the youth and young adults! It’s heartening. One of the most important statements I heard on the Assembly floor came from a ten year old boy. Mission groups from across the country served before the Assembly. And one of my own spent her own time cooking for hundreds of them.

Sharon Watkins was re-elected for a second six-year term as General Minister and President. I’m proud to call her a friend. Whatever else she is she is a spirit woman. Good for her and good for us.

Imagine, if this happens within one of the families of the Christian household, the Disciples of Christ, how wide and long our reach of love, community and service with the whole, world-wide community of Christ. We are becoming, the Christian community is, less and less Western every day. And yet there is one table and we always pull up another chair to make room for the next and then the next.

To follow the resolutions voted upon by the Assembly and watch video clips of various speakers and worship services go to:

  1. Menina says:

    My first General Assembly, but I hope not my last. What an amazing convocation–it feels good to be a part of this thoughtful, prayerful denomination of God’s people–“Come and dine, the Master calleth, come and dine!”

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