Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Conference

I went to Montreat this past weekend with my college for our annual winter conference. Several professors attend with a large portion of the student body and we spend the weekend together in the beautiful mountains of Montreat, enjoying a Sabbath together. This conference was such a renewal for me. I'm really grateful for everyone who worked on the retreat, those who prepared for it for weeks before the event. I'm also thankful for everyone who went and made it such a great experience for me. I felt so loved and accepted, and I got to interact with members of the community that I normally don't see or get to be with. It was so refreshing to see my peers ignoring the social order or status quo and just existing as a single group, with a common purpose and love for one another.
You might say that I'm being too much of a hippie about this, but I think that I'm just genuinely surprised to see my peers be so... nice.

Thank you for that.

While I was on the retreat I felt a tug to "come back home"; to come back to the Presbyterian faith that I grew up with. For years I ran around to difference churches, looking at difference theologies, researching this and that until this weekend I realized that what I already believe is accomplished in the faith that my church family instilled in my so many years ago. I'm proud to be a member of my church and I know it. I know how Presbyterians do things. I know our rules, our laws, how to get a job with a Presbyterian church, what we believe and what we practice. 15 years of solid Presbyterianism has bred in my a fierce love of bagpipes, tartan, and Scotland. I love worship services that make less of the performer and celebrate the God who gave us the talent with which to worship. I love that we're held accountable to an association but not hierarchical enough with our rules and confessions that we allow heresies to sneak in and become cornerstone dogmas.
I'm so happy that my denomination, and I know some people hate denominations, accepts the fact that God made me a woman and equal to a man. I'm overjoyed that I'm not a second-class citizen. I feel accepted as a member of the body of Christ, regardless of my gender, and it's beautiful to me that I can serve in the full pastoral capacity to which I have been called.
More than this, it's home. Home isn't perfect, but nothing is perfect but Christ. Sure, there are controversies. Who hasn't had them? And the confessions of the Presbyterian church fully admit that human doctrine in this area can be subject to any number of errors (especially outside of historical context). But I won't waste my time addressing every criticism of my home church. Because it's just that; it's home. It's home, and that's enough for me.
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