Last night was Presbytery night in the Waterloo-Wellington and, as is usually the case, it was a meeting that had its ups and downs -- its high points and its low points.
After adjournment, as happens in many Presbyteries I am sure, some of the members made arrangements to break up a long drive home by stopping off at a local watering hole to talk over (and commiserate over) the events of the evening.
About seven members ended up sitting around a table in a bar. Just by chance, they all happened to be male and they all happened to be clergy.
We talked together and toasted various discussion points from earlier in the evening. We toasted the committees and agencies of the Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church with good will towards all. We were enjoying one another's company.
The place was mostly empty but there was a friendly group over at the bar -- paramedics, it turned out, at the end of their shift. We interacted a bit and they made a few comments about how we were all dresse…
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada is coming up very soon. This year there will be some debates on the agenda, yet again, about the place of LGBTQ people in the church. So, of course, the discussion boards of the church had been pretty active lately with people posting and discussing these weighty matters. I hardly want to spend all my time attending to these discussions, but I can’t help tuning in from time to time.
Lately, as you may have noticed, people who are strongly opposed to making any changes in our policies at this time, had been taking to labeling those they disagree with as “revisionists.” I don’t want to presume that this is their intention, but I can’t help but notice it often comes across as a pejorative label. They seem to be thinking, every time that they say it, that they are the true believers and that those who disagree with them are merely revising a time honoured approach to the Bible and to truth.
Like so many of my friends, I have been deeply saddened by events that have taken place in just the past week that have had the effect of marginalizing Muslims and Muslim communities in Canada and in North America. How can Muslims feel anything but less safe in this country today? How can they feel anything but less welcome?
If there has been any ray of hope in the recent events -- the attack on a Mosque in Quebec City and the American immigration bans -- it has been in how people who deplored them have reacted. My heart has been greatly warmed as I heard and saw the huge numbers of people who flocked to airports and other places to protest the immigration ban. I have been encouraged to hear of Christians gathering in Quebec City and in other cities to pray and hold vigil on behalf of the murdered Muslims of Ste. Foy. I have rejoiced to hear of many who are raising funds and donating to bring comfort and healing to those affected. I thank God for these responses and signs of God's…