I’ve shared in previous posts that I will be attending the Covenanting Conference in Orlando sponsored by the Fellowship of Presbyterians.
Back in August 2011 the title “Constitutional Convention” was used to describe this week’s meeting and certainly the documents published by the Fellowship on theology and polity appear to be more in keeping with a constitutional meeting rather than a covenantal gathering. The circumstantial evidence presented saddens me because I looked forward to an event where covenantal language could take place between those who are part of the Fellowship movement and those who support the PCUSA. Instead, as I begin packing my bags for this trip, I fear that such dialogue has been abandoned and the only thing left to do is decide how to peaceably part company.
Quite honestly my feelings today are that this meeting seems to be based on the song “Onward Christian Soldiers” and not “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” I’m trying to shake the anxiety that is building within me. I cannot believe that the circumstances we face are what Jesus meant when he said that those who follow me must be willing to take up their cross. Isn’t there something about going and being reconciled to one’s brothers/sisters if there is a concern or if you have an issue with them?
I am worried that the materials already presented by the Fellowship have entrenched people on both sides. There will be little covenant talk and more contract speech: less dialogue between persons with differing opinions and more impassioned and stirring speeches suggesting the ways that “we are right and they are wrong.”
It’s Monday. I leave for Orlando later this week. I pray that God will open hearts and minds that this week’s conference will truly be about covenanting. I seek your prayers that God will keep my heart and mind open to hear and share with others.