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One of the pleasures I have is that I travel as a public theologian to different conferences and preach and teach. This weekend I was in Minneapolis with The Forum for Theological Exploration helping cultivate young people as they discern their vocational call. It is invigorating being around 20-somethings. I learned this weekend that the new voices being supported in the church are bright, committed to creative expressions of the Gospel, multi-racial, queer, and full of the Holy Spirit! I am unapologetic about being a Reformed theologian when I travel and unashamed that I do feminist and queer theology with my Reformed lens. I felt alive preaching on The Belhar Confession and Isaiah 58 in that holy space. I’m still riding the spiritual substance that I feel from the weekend. But let me take this blog to testify to how I see the church alive and growing. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the bigger picture than our denominational life.
- I saw God in the Spirited worship when all 70 participants of various denominational backgrounds broke out in the conga dance praising God.
- I saw God alive in the church when queer students got up to lead the music and Scripture with full freedom in knowing God created them and God has called them to ministry (this brought me so much joy. May the baggage of cultural wars continue to get smaller).
- I saw God in my small group of 10 20-somethings that came from different expressions of the church and were committed to celebrating each other across the theological divisions. They just loved each other. Is it really that easy? Just love and celebrate each other. They gave me hope.
- I saw God in the tears and the shedding of old lies that hold people back and I saw God in us speaking back to the lies and claiming our worthiness in Christ
- I saw God in the worship. I love worship. Worship is central to my life (#ReformedBibleWoman)
- I saw God in Alexia Salvatierra preaching about familia justice
- I saw God in Rachel Kurtz and her music ministry
- I saw God in the wisdom of Pastor Jodi Houge
- I saw God in each and everyone of my co-leaders and particpants
- I saw God in the honesty and authenticity and the new life God brings to those whose hearts are open and willing to receive
Here’s a little video about FTE. I’m grateful for their work in the world and grateful for each participant.