Last week – as documented on the front page of the New York Times, our General Assembly approved (rather overwhelmingly) an overture to change the definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” Also approved (barely) was a vote to divest denominational investments from three corporations that supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.
Some people are very upset.
In throes of hate mail, calls for congregations to leave the denomination, and general anxiety among many faithful Presbyterians, an usher welcomed me into worship yesterday, and upon learning that I work for the Presbytery of Chicago, he shared that he might leave the church and that he was tired of “the church being led by children who interfere in issues they have no business talking about.” Good to meet you too.
In the meantime, HH and I received a text from our 20-something FBC sharing that he was proud of the Presbyterians and that lots of his friends were talking positively about the denomination of his baptism. Believe me, this was a first.
Disruptive innovation is a concept in technological development in which – initially – results/performance/growth might be lower, but eventually there is prosperity as traditional parameters change. Check it out here.
After years of prayerful conversations, studies, debates, and even General Assembly voting, GA 211 finally made a disruptive decision: to change the definition of marriage to include GLBTQ couples and to stand with oppressed Palestinians – both Christian and Muslim. Some people will leave the church. Some will send hate mail. Many will misrepresent what happened in Detroit.
But innovation is disruptive. And faithfulness is even more disruptive. Thanks to all the commissioners who worked so tirelessly last week in Detroit.