By Jerrell Williams, Associate for Leadership Cultivation On August 8 and 9, around 30 credentialed leaders of both Franconia and Eastern District Conferences assembled for the quarterly Faith and Life gathering […]
… the practice of community through Communion is one of the greatest witnesses that we have in the world today.
At Bethany we share communion at least three times each year. Our first communion service is in January when we renew our annual membership covenant with each other. Our system of membership at Bethany is an odd hybrid. We can become members by taking a membership class and being baptized or by transferring a letter of membership from another congregation, and we can become members by annually affirming our covenant with this congregation. When we renew our membership covenant each January, affirming that we intend to walk with this particular group of people and uphold our commitments to what we state in our covenant, we mark this by celebrating communion together.
It’s a misty evening as I sit cuddled under a blanket with my laptop and a snoring dog, watching the presidential debate. Even as I type, President Obama and Governor Romney are debating the economy.
I feel my temperature rising, and it has nothing to do with the blanket. I grew up in a family in which “debate” sounds more like calm discussion and a slightly raised voice feels like yelling. Just watching the debate is feeding my anxiety.
And, if anyone else experiences conflict like I do, the election this coming November could be incredibly divisive for the church. And how much moreso, when you mix people like me with those who are very comfortable with debate, raised voices, and hearty conversation? How do we keep our eyes focused on our shared allegiance—to Jesus Christ—in the midst of such diversity and disagreement?