A time of compromise — decision making at General Council


An air of relief was felt around the court last night.

The work of commissions had been completed with a marathon day of process, wordsmithing in proposal state, then decision-marking motions.

It was the work we had been sent here to do. It was what we had studied for, reflected upon, leading up to this day.

There were disappointments. Time & time again, compromises were done. Time & time again, we faced not having the finances to do it all. Items were shifted from spending immediate funds to making reporting plans.

I am hopeful that change will still come.

This council was hampered by the amount of proposals that came forward due to the problems with enacting congregation ministry & designated lay ministry as presented & approved in previous years..

Future councils will look back on us and know whether the decisions we made were worthy by
 generate a ton of work for future councils by poorly worded or thought out proposals?
 facilitate the work of the social gospel
 ease the load or make life more complicated for the courts of the church
 make appropriate calls for justice in the world with the teeth to make a difference

I wonder if any council ever knows, ever has a clear decision about what they did. Did the ’88 decision know, or the ’95 or…any other critical point in the churches history? Were there courts that laid the groundwork for ’88, ’95 knowing it was ok, that it is ok to NOT be the ones that make groundbreaking decisions…but instead prepare the way for a series of decisions.

My hope is that the decisions made yesterday bring about right relationships with all people they address….serving the church and the world.

I hope others agree and do the hard work that is required to make it so.

For those decisions that require analysis,  that people step up in their congregations or higher courts to volunteer their skills and resources to make the process work.

For those decisions that require action, that individuals step up to work the crowd, influencing those that make decisions in a positive way for justice.

May it be so.

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