Ari and I were talking about the American Baptist Churches
and our experiences therewith, which led me to checking whether the Baptist church I grew up near
is ABC (it is).
Browsing its website, one of their Mission
activities is Young Life
. Which I had some exposure to as an adolescent and think of as being fairly generic apolitical but also suspect would be too conservative for me.
Young Life's Statement of Faith
is easily findable from the front page -- well-done!
The last line thereof: "Those who are apart from Christ shall be eternally separated from God’s presence, but the redeemed shall live and reign with Him forever."
My first response: "But I don't wanna be in charge of things after I die!"
Ari: "Who do you reign over
Ari and I were later talking about denominational identity and Jeff V's wistfulness that the UCC at its merger-inception chose to become a denomination.
Ari, at one point, in talking about the hypothetical post-denominational network the UCC could have chosen to become, said "churches ordain people," to which my immediate ~cynical response was that there's a long bureaucratic process before you're allowed to get to that point and so I feel like it's more accurate to say that the committee ordains you -- which is in part because my low sacramental theology means that I also largely have the, "nothing actually happens
at a ceremony, because it is just a ceremony," response.
Her sense was that in denominations with a call system, you get ordained in your first Call. I said I attended Liz L's ordination at CHPC, after she had gotten a Call at Waltham (tho before she had started serving there) and while a bunch of folks from Waltham came, it was at CHPC.
Google was not very helpful at telling me in which church in relation to the ordinand PCUSA or UCC ordinations happen, though I did find this UCC ordination document
The fact that you lose your authorization if you're not doing church-related work (ESPECIALLY since the UCC is a Call system) really irritates me.
The "With ministerial standing, an ordained minister is a voting member of his or her association and conference and can be a participant in the denomination's pension and health insurance programs" line suggests to me that this is largely a bureaucratic concern -- about who gets to vote and whom we have to pay. I validate a concern about whom the denomination has to pay -- though I would also hope there could be some way around that (like the denomination only covers that so long as you're employed by the denomination -- and yeah, again I sigh that everyone can't magically have access to basic standard of living ... though yes I know that's unfeasible in part because there's no way to get consensus on what that standard would be)
. My instinct is to want anyone who has interest in voting to be able to, though I know that opens the door for a whole host of problematics.
I have a low theology of all sacraments and sacrament-like things, but if we are going to treat ordination as a sacred magic thing (as low church Protestants it is not actually a "sacrament" for us)
, then I want it to not get turned into something that's just, "We are authorizing you to be employed by us" (I don't have a problem with such authorization, I just want that to be a basic paperwork thing, rather than a sacred magic public ceremony).
They are probably navigating a middle way which it would be mature of me to appreciate, but it's going to take me some time to get there.
Ari wondered whether your Magic Jesus Hands get revoked. Since this is a thing the larger body AUTHORIZES you to do, I would think so. *insert all my bitterness about Magic Jesus Hands as a Thing here*
We also talked about TDOR
and World AIDS Day
Googling for the latter gave me one in Cambridge last year
. Browsing that church's website ... they have a Recent Visitors Survey
! ♥ (I want all [my] churches to have such a Recent Visitors Survey now. Also, how much do I love that their worship space has moveable everything -- and the space gets used 6.5 days/week
by a Ballet Theatre
.)The UUA offers World AIDS Day resources.
And in case you are interested, the 2011 theme is "Getting to Zero" (which campaign runs until 2015)
[MTPC does Boston's TDOR service.