At the door to the Best Western in Lawrenceville, Georgia, as some of our airport-bound RevGalBlogPals were leaving Wednesday morning, I began to sing a little song my father taught me, years and years ago:
Sunday School is over, and we are going home.
Goodbye! Goodbye! Be always kind and true.
It somehow came as no surprise when one of my new-found sisters began to sing along on her way out the door.
For two days, a group of women of varied backgrounds and four denominations sat around a table and began the planning for an event that will draw together many more. We found many areas of easy agreement and some of deeply held differences, but in all things we practiced kindness and patience and acceptance of diversity.
I lived in an ecumenical household. My father’s family helped found the Methodist Church in town, and that was after founding the Episcopal church years before. My mother’s people were Southern Baptist. When we lived in another town for six years, we attended a Presbyterian Church, and I went to an Episcopal school. I am now part of the United Church of Christ. Through all the changes of practice and thought, I like to think I’ve held to Daddy’s little song, to strive to be always kind and true, even when being truthful may also be painful.
I’m grateful for the gathering and for those who made it possible: Questing Parson, who drove all over the universe and forgave me for not finding him at the airport, and reverend mommy, who hosted us at her church despite her recent illness and also managed to find a way for RevAbi to attend the board meeting electronically. I’m grateful also to my RevGalBlogPals who traveled at their own expense to meet together and do this good work. It was my first meeting with Jody of Quotidian Grace and Mary Beth of Terrapin Station, yet we felt comfortable together instantly, I think. I rejoiced at the opportunity to see my dear friends Cheesehead and will smama and St. Casserole. And it was a joy to meet young Natalie, who blogs at Take My Hand. What will the Church Universal be like when she takes her ordination vows someday? Where will we find ourselves? I hope that in the main we will have learned to work together the way our small group did this week, discerning what matters most for God’s purposes and leaving our differences to the side wherever we could.
See you at a location to be determined soon, March 27-30, 2008!
Goodbye! Goodbye! Be always kind and true!