Here is my confession.
Our theme was "our power resides in our stories." During our Worship yesterday, 2 women shared a bit of their call to ministry. One of the stories struck me in my heart.
- When the information about the retreat was sent out to the churches, I asked our elders how they would be distributing the invitation to our congregation. After processing, the message came back- they would not be distributing the invitation, and then they asked me not to put flyers in our church mailboxes, not to send information about the retreat on our church email list. I was told I could stand up in church and announce the retreat. My heart was broken. I could stand up in the congregation and put a target on my back, but I couldn't quietly put a few flyers in a few mailboxes of people I knew were allies and might want to come. I chose to send out an email with the information privately to a few people.
As the sermon was given, I realized, I could have disobeyed! I don't think I even considered it. The sermon brought another piece to light, I am trying to get my ordination reactivated, and I chose to do nothing out of fear. Fear that "they" might withdraw their support for my request.
I sat there. Ashamed.
Later, as a response to the sermon, we were invited to choose a rock to carry with us as a symbol of a burden we were carrying. We could carry it as long as we needed-- minutes, days, years-- knowing that mercy was freely offered. I knew immediately what I would do. As soon as the service was over, I went outside and I threw that rock as far as I could. I let go of the shame and guilt.
Thank God for Mercy.
Thank you for listening.