Pretty uneventful day yesterday. A tornado hit the Convention Center and we passed the ELCA Sexuality Statement by the exact number of votes needed (676 to 338).
Just another day in the life of the Body of Christ, which is nudged forward and sometimes blown off of its heels by the Holy Spirit.
No one hurt in the tornado, though it did halve the steeple at Central Lutheran across the street. Central is the church which is graciously hosting Assembly members for worship and meals. They've set up an open-air restaurant in front and a pub in back. Both are in pieces now, and it is sheer blessing that the tornado didn't touch down during a mealtime or happy hour.
I missed the vote on the Sexuality Study, having made plans to share dinner with Lyle, a dear former member at Abiding Peace. But my friend Jen sent a text when it happened, and we rejoiced. I was surprised, since there was so much bickering back and forth about the statement, that I didn't think they'd get to a vote, even after extending the debate (hence my absence--I wouldn't have scheduled dinner during a Plenary).
The Goodsoil worship service was scheduled for last night, and it was grand that the vote did in fact happen, because we were buoyed by the good news, which just made the service that much more special. There had to be well over 500 people over at Central. Perhaps closer to 800 or more. The very large sanctuary was full. Barbara Lundblad (Numero Uno Preacher in the World) preached, and the music was great.
The air in that sanctuary was electric, and it is clear that a great healing is taking place. It will not be finished here; much more is needed. And we still have the vote on the ministry standards coming. That is the policy change in which we have invested so much fear and hope.
Pray for the Assembly. Pray for the church. Pray for those who will celebrate and those who will mourn. Pray for God's will to be done.