I am “recuperating” after a busy week at the 2015 Cruxifusion Conference that was held at Wellington Square United Church, Burlington Ontario April 26 to 30. It was a gathering of 90 United Church ministers of all stripes and splotches—from radically progressive theological liberals to grumpy “regressive” theological conservatives—but who hold one thing in common: the most important thing in all the universe, Jesus Christ.
I know it might seem strange to have a conference for Christ-centred clergy but we are United Church (UCC) … and anything, at times, goes in the UCC. But we think its important to gather, support, praise, pray, learn, hope and bask in the presence of our Living Lord. And the age range – it is a strange thing for me, at 44, to be one of the “old ones”—there are so many young ministers!!!!!
Anyway, I get to bash my guitar with a real band (drums, bass, sound boards, microphones!!!). I learned new contemporary Christian songs like Man of Sorrows” and “We Belong” that I will attempt to teach in church. And I’ve reconnected with some cherished friends (Nick, the Gregs, Deb, Michael, Stephen) and met some amazing new ones: Lawrence, from Mali, who in past year has gone through oral and lung cancer but will not stop attending Emmanuel College in order to become a pastor. Japeth who is from Zambia but serving on the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland whose congregation has gone from 40 to 150. Then there’s Keith, the drummer, who’d rather hug than fight, and reminded me to be a bit sillier (or at least sillier than I already am). So many amazing, humble, loving ministers—we are so blessed to have such as these.
The theme of the conference was “REST. RECONCILE. REVIVE.” Part of this comes from how many of us feel the weariness of 21st century North American Christianity. And then there’s the work ahead of us in the United Church (never mind the work behind us). Yet, as tired as I am from the busy-ness of it: mission accomplished, Cruxers! I am rested. I feel reconciled. And revival is here!
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