Lectionary Selection: 2 Thess 2: 1-5, 13-17
Prayers from the World Council of Churches 10th General Assembly:
O God, you are the Creator of all things and all people. You do not declare partisanship towards one group over the other. More precisely, you are the God of conservatives and liberals, fundamentalist and universalist, republicans and democrats, labor and liberal, independent and libertarian and everything in between. Lord, help us to see discourse that accentuates difference as a means by which we discover our very uniqueness.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus intentionally neglected to pray for uniformity. Rather, the Anointed One made a petition to God that we be united.
Remind us to see that extremist on either side can be closed-minded and dangerous whether traditionalist or progressive. The fact remains, "bullish" attitudes have a tendency to highlight ignorance and underscore the necessity for education, dialogue and an open-mind.
Let us not forget those enduring words that gained impetus at the onset of our great denomination of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things love”
Let us not forget the statement of faith that continues to drive our beloved denomination of the United Church of Christ in the bend toward justice. “To join oppressed and troubled people in the struggle for liberation”
As we constantly reflect upon our fundamentals and share our opinions, may we never forsake the directive to love in all things. Amen.
Your co-worker in establishing God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven, Aaron "Nash" Wiggins.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Fiji:
These are a few of the fundamentalist radicals who are protesting the World Council of Churches (WCC) General Assembly which is convening through November 8 in Busan, Korea. They believe that the assembly and its delegates are destroying the Church and are going to hell because the WCC has not condemned the gay and lesbian community.
In the span of 5 minutes I was directly and emphatically called a snake (the man with the white robe and cross necklace), an idiot (the woman with the microphone) and also told that I was going to hell.
Individuals like this contributed to my decision to leave the church once upon a time.
But, through my own struggle and maturity I have come to hold as true, that one cannot indict the character of an entire group based on the convictions of a few. Moreover, it is my belief that I need persons such as these in order to fully define my own identity. Juxtapositions cannot and do not exist absent the presence of opposites. Ergo, I am truly me (in all my "liberal-ness") because they (in their fundamentalism) are truly them.
I am no longer moved to anger with what I consider antediluvian viewpoints. Rather, I now see these exercises as opportunities to discover a little more about myself. Praises.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Aaron “Nash” Wiggins)
Video Resources about Fiji:
More information on Fiji: http://globalministries.org/eap/countries/fiji/
Global Ministries Missionary in Fiji:
Aaron “Nash” Wiggins recently returned from a term of service with the Pacific Council of Churches. This week he is a delegate at the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, Korea.