From Every Tribe and Nation

Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery Leader
choward@glpby.org


I’ve been able to catch glimpses of the impeachment. I saw the house managers make their case for impeachment. Now I’m watching the defense state their rationale for acquittal. I know what the results will be, even before the vote is taken. When we live in a partisan world, people tend to stick with their tribe.

The Senate is showing me something. Even though most of their minds are made up, they sit and listen. They show respect. They disagree with a level of decorum.

I also noticed that I am far more interested in what one side says than the other. I watch news shows for one side, far more than I do for the other. I realize that I too am part of the partisan spirit that has engulfed our country and the world.

We live in the waters of partisanship. We take sides and we believe our side is right. I have come to accept this reality. The challenge is how do we navigate a course with people on both sides of a divide? How do we come to an agreement that both sides feel is fair and has the potential to live into what God wants for this presbytery, and the various institutions and churches that are affiliated with it?

Each presbytery gathering, I struggle with the question of capacity. Do we have the emotional capacity to make difficult decisions in a respectful way? Do we have the maturity to recognize that even though we are on different sides of an issue, we are able to listen, speak, and vote with class and decorum; we are capable of coming to a bipartisan solution?

At the February 6th gathering we will discuss and vote on the An Apology to Our African American Sisters and Brothers for the Sin Of Slavery and its Legacy, which is being submitted by Dismantling Racism and Privilege Team. We will vote on overtures for the upcoming General Assembly. We will have other business of the presbytery to vote and discuss. What will our spirit be during these times of conversation, debate, and vote?

In spite of my expressed anxiety, I am watching this presbytery evolve and grow. The Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy is claiming its identity as a diverse body of believers who are spread across the spectrum of theology and faith. We are a large tent that seeks to include conservative and liberal, LGBTQIA+ and straight, all people of color including white, urban and rural, wealthy and poor. We are the vision of God’s kingdom, where all are welcome to the table where Jesus Christ is host.

This is why we will gather, we will pray, we will worship, we will learn, we will fellowship, and we will vote. The more we gather, the more we can see Christ in one another, as we love each other with the love of Jesus Christ that passes all understanding.

Rev. Craig M. Howard

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