2021 General Synod Delegate Summary:
Joe Rowley

I love adventures!  My first General Synod experience, in Milwaukee in 2019, was an adventure.  It blended flavors of family reunion and tantalizing glimpses of what a courageous church can reveal about the Kindom of God.  That first experience of General Synod also opened my eyes to some of the challenges and limitations of finding our unified voice while speaking as a nation-wide, diverse body of faith.  Meeting as a virtual General Synod this year, in a sense, more accurately embodied the reality of our simultaneously converging in the Spirit while remaining distant in our contexts and experiences.  This social distancing reality check did not provide the intense warm-fuzzy feelings of a family reunion, but I remain grateful for the connection to such gifted, faithful, inspiring people within and beyond our own Missouri Mid-South Conference.

 

I believe all eleven resolutions were offered in an adventurous spirit of faithfulness to call our shared body of faith more deeply into spiritual transformation that leads toward justice.  The one resolution that spoke most deeply and unambiguously to me was "Becoming a Church of Contemplatives in Action."  If we were to truly become a church of contemplatives, the actions for justice would more naturally flow from the deeper spiritual peace we would know in common.  Each member's internal spiritual adventure would manifest in a more unified outward adventure of shared actions for justice.  My hope for the church in all manifestations is that we can live into that inside-out adventure together, as well as sharing direction from all of the resolutions of our General Synod. 

 

Thank you for the blessing of this shared experience!

Rowley, Joe.jpg