Mission Friends for Inclusion

Reflecting on Gather 2019

Dear friends,

We are now on the other side of one of the most historic Annual Meetings in our lifetimes. Thank you for your faithful prayers for all involved.

Decisions were made on the following items:

  • Ministerium Resolution on Anti-racism: passed
  • Ministerium Resolution asking BOOM to reconsider the 2015 guidelines concerning ministers’ participation in same-sex weddings (the resolution asked that pastors participate in ways other than officiating, allowing them to pray or read Scripture): did not pass
  • First Covenant Church, Minneapolis (FCCM) Out of Harmony: removed from membership
  • Ordinations of Rev. Steve Armfield, retired and Rev. Daniel Collison, FCCM: both revoked and removed from rosters

Dear friends at FCCM, Rev. Collison, Rev. Armfield, and your families,

You rise to a new day unencumbered while we are left bereft.

For the next month, our social media will go black in mourning as we lament the break in our Covenant fellowship and the loss of these dear, faithful friends. After this month of prayer and lament, we will return to share what our discernment is as we move forward, and we are moving forward for we put our hope in God.

LAMENT “Deep Calls to Deep”

(From Psalm 42)

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
   therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
   the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep
   in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
   have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
   at night his song is with me—
   a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
   “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
   oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony
   as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

4 Responses to “Reflecting on Gather 2019”

  1. Michael R Swanson

    I watched two days of the gathering and I was never so saddened. I posed many comments, and I notices that many people were sad or angry or both, judging by the bubbles which went up the side line. This i not the Covenant I knew when went to North Park College or Minnehaha Academy. How have they become so vicious?

    Mike Swanson

  2. Marjorie Rudolph

    My heart is so heavy..We have been members of ECC Springfield,MA for almost thirty years.I have not been attending for the past year because of this issue,and now I must make the decision to resign my membership. It’s heartbreaking. I have a gay daughter,a believer,who married in 2009,they have our beautiful 3 year old granddaughter Olivia,another on the way. Many in the church support us,but I would not bring
    Olivia there, so why stay? We have helped to educate several friends while still there who now believe as we do,and that’s why I stayed….but now…
    Thank you for all you have been doing to keep us informed and hopeful. Like you,I will be in mourning for FCCM and both pastors.

  3. Roger Carlson

    What breaks my heart are all the Covenant Kids who were told Jesus loves them, only to discover that it isn’t true if they identify as LGBT. How can the Covenant possibly justify that.

  4. Michael R Swanson

    I watched the gathering…except for the evening service. It was one of the saddest things I’ve seen. I’m a graduate of Minnehaha Academy and North Park College. When I left the mid-west and moved to Bristol, RI, I joined the Episcopal church, not out of any anger at the ECC but because I do not drive and there were no Covenant churches within walking distance. After this Gathering, had I not already left I would have left. Shame on them for their actions and intolerance of what is proven to be caused by genetic influences.

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