As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“The breath goes now,” and some say, “No,”
A Valediction Forbidding Mourning by John Donne
I claimed resurrection for MCC—declared last Sunday that I would not accept resuscitation. You’ve been praying. Thousands have been praying “May it be so.”
I think I was right in demanding resurrection. But what I wasn’t certain about was whether MCC was well and truly dead. I’ve seen this week that we were not. I’ve seen people and congregations like us refusing to accept either the death of MCC or its continued “walking dead” posture. People refusing to hand over MCC to isms, including that ugly phenomenon of national-ism that is played out in ways far more subtle than red hats and detention centers. Refusing to hand MCC over to fiscal irresponsibility and questionable integrity and even well-meaning incompetency. Refusing to let the soul of MCC slip away.
There is much for us to talk about over the next few months. But for now I want to highlight three things:
- We elected a Moderator! On only the second ballot, thanks in part to a gracious withdrawal by Rev. Elder Tony Freeman after a first round in which he received less than a quarter of the votes, we elected Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston from the UK. She has already, in fewer than 24 hours, established herself as a person who is not afraid to lead and who will try to bring in all the voices of MCC globally.
- MCC announced that the 2022 General Conference will be in Austin, TX. There’s a great deal of backstory in this announcement. For one thing, MCC Austin was not part of the decision-making process. Two, there are grave and serious concerns about the financial implications of having another General Conference in our present model when we’re expecting a loss of over $100,000.00 on this one. Third, and most important to us as a justice matter, alternating GCs are supposed to be outside of the US. There may be sound reasons for skirting that practice, but none of them justify making the decision without the input of MCC’s international churches.
- I cannot go anywhere without people thanking us (MCC Austin) for our support (financial and other) of the LEAD program. We are changing the lives of people and impacting the ministry of churches globally through our sponsorship of the program. One of our pastors from Germany cried as he told me how important the program was to his church. In fact, his LEAD graduates are taking care of the church, including worship services, while he’s away for 10 days at GC. We received a standing ovation from the whole body when the LEAD graduates were announced and our church was recognized.
Your delegates and I are trying to represent you well; we definitely represent you proudly. Not to the level of a deadly sin, but maybe close
Always in Hope,