GS2015 ended less than an hour ago and many (especially Melissa) are looking forward to GS2017 in Baltimore. Funny thing is I'm also exhausted and a little cranky. It's time to go home and get back to normal. BUT...the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), reminded us during her sermon tonight that normal isn't working anymore. Remembering how the disciples went back their boats to resume their lives fishing after Jesus was killed, she pointed out that the fishing wasn't going so well. After a night's work their nets were empty. Regular, ordinary, the "way we've always done it" life wasn't working anymore. Fortunately Jesus appeared with further instructions, stayed for breakfast, and put them back on track to bring abundant life to all God's children.
General Synod has taken us around the world and back again. To the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota where Winona LaDuke founded the White Earth Recovery Project to develop "culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and food systems." To the Holy Land where Synod delegates voted to call for the UCC to Take Actions Toward a Just Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. To Korea urging Peace, Justice, and Reunification in the Korean Peninsula. Renewing the UCC's witness of Commitment to Full Equality for Persons of Any Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression. To the world as a whole and especially here in the U.S. for a Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy by 2040. And even to Outer Space in a resolution on Responsible Stewardship of the Outer Space Environment. (Maybe this time we can find a way to stop leaving our junk in outer space so it doesn't become another dumping ground for stuff we no longer want. And of course that trash isn't funny when it falls back to earth.)
It is overwhelming and gratifying to be in the company of people who care so passionately about our earth, the people who live here now and the ones who will live here in the future. It is exciting to imagine that our small but active denomination can make a real difference in the world. The challenge as we ended this intense time in Cleveland is to make tomorrow not a day to "get back to normal" but instead a day of action that will change the world for the better a little piece at a time.