Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wrap Up: GBCS Young Adult Clergy Gathering

Last night I returned home from the GBCS Young Adult Clergy Gathering in DC. I had the privelege of preaching the sermon for closing worship, and felt honored to be preaching in a place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

John directed my attention to this article in the Christian Post that talks about our Tuesday gathering with Senator Kyl. Our purpose in meeting with him was to talk about internet gambling issues, though, as the article mentions, conversation strayed to some other topics. Senator Kyl spoke strongly about his belief that our faith should only impact our action in the political realm to a certain degree (I apologize for no direct quotes - I wasn't taking notes during this session), and in that area his views drew some audible reaction from the room.

It was fascinating to be in DC on the day of the State of the Union address. You couldn't really move without seeing 15 police officers. Seeing them carrying weapons too large to fit into holsters was a bit unsettling - not used to seeing that.

Wednesday, during our last hours together, one of the pastors originally from South Korea spoke about his non-US perspective in a moving way. He said that America is "the top steward" of the world and that America is too powerful. "You can decide our destiny," he said, even against the will of his home country. He talked about South Korea's involvement in Iraq, saying they had to send troops "to keep good relations with the US" even though they didn't support the war in theory. I appreciated his broadening of our view - the UMC is a global church, but with our members overwhelmingly centered in the US, we sometimes have a narrow view.

We also heard from young pastors from Mississippi and Louisiana about rescue, relief, and recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina. I want to direct you to this resource from GBCS called After the Storm: Renewing the Covenant of Community. It is a study book put together by GBCS staffers Susan Burton and John Hill. The booklet focuses on Hurricane Katrina and highlights justice issues that are intertwined with the hurricane. The booklet ties in our Social Principles, and has questions and links/resources for discussion and further action. Check it out.
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