I am so glad the mid-term elections are over. Perhaps we can have a few months of peace and quiet before political incivility rears its ugly head once again.
Even as the civil political process winds down, however, the political process within the P.C. (USA) picks up steam as we prepare in our presbyteries to debate and vote on three major issues: whether to adopt a proposed new Form of Government; whether to approve adding the Belhar Confession to our Book of Confessions; and whether to approve a new provision on ordination standards.
I'm off tomorrow to Louisville for the annual Moderators' Conference, where incoming moderators of presbyteries and synods come together to discuss these and other issues and to learn from each other about how to be more effective moderators. These folks, in addition to taking on the responsibilities of being a moderator, are devoting two and a half days to improving their skills as moderators, so please take the time to thank them.
The phrase "decently and in order" has become somewhat of a catch phrase over the past few years. But I think it captures perfectly what we Presbyterians do best: we acknowledge that we all don't agree on every single thing, we discuss and debate with civility and respect, and we make decisions. As the Covenant Network and the Presbyterians for Renewal noted in their recent joint statement, "It is our intent to witness to the reconciling love of Christ, even and especially when we disagree."
Over these next months, as we debate and decide these significant issues, let's all witness to the reconciling love of Christ, even as we disagree. Let's model for the politicians how issues can be decided with mutual respect. Let's show what "decently and in order" really means.