Friday, March 02, 2007

Church News!

(For readers who are members of the Community of Christ....)

The Presidency just released a "Letter of Counsel" outlining changes in the leadership quorums of the church.

All the changes seem inspired, but two stand out as particularly inspiring: First, to fill a vacancy in the Presidency (Ken Robinson is retiring) Becky Savage has been called - the first woman in the First Presidency! More than twenty years after women have been being ordained to the priesthood, it's no real surprise or shock, but it is still a landmark. The only question is how Savage will bring her recent work as (new) head of leadership development into her new position.

Second, and particularly thrilling for me, the International Director of Peace and Justice Ministries and a personal friend, Andrew Bolton (pictured) is being called to fill a vacancy in the Council of Twelve. The foremost activist and minister for peace and justice is now an international officer. A drawback to this change is that Bolton's position as director and coordinator of P&J ministries will not be filled in his absence - which means that although Bolton will surely direct much of his ministry in the direction of peace and justice, the church will no longer have a full-time position dedicated to moving peace and justice work and understanding in the church. And students at Graceland will surely miss such a dynamic teacher, as I imagine Bolton won't have time to continue being an adjunct professor there.

I'm in the percarious position of wanting TWO people be my Apostle! (In our church, we have twelve "Apostles" which serve as special witnesses of Christ and have administrative responsibilities over different regions of the earth; and right now- by an unusual coincidence, my mother-in-law is "my" Apostle, whom I deeply love and respect, of course.) I suppose several of us in the Pacific Northwest will have to pick up our share of the Peace and Justice banner and march on while Andrew challenges and encourages others elsewhere.

"Congratulations" never seem like the right thing to give to people who have received ministerial callings. But considering how richly blessed the church will be, I congratulate the church at large! This is really exciting news.

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4 Comments:

  • I am also very excited with the call of Becky Salvage to the First Presidency. I do not know her and her call did surprise me as she is not currently a leader in one of the quorom but I am still so excited for this call of the first female in the presidency.

    I thought of you when Stephen Veazey read the name of Andrew Bolton on the webcast yesterday. I knew you would have to be thrilled. I am also sorry to see the church not having someone in the Peace & Justice position but look forward to what he'll bring with that background to the council of twelve.

    It was also great to see someone from South America be called to the council of twelve.

    This is a very exciting time in the Community of Christ!

    Personally, I do not have a problem with congratulating ministerial calls, so congratulations to those who have been called to these new avenues of service, congratulations to the church to be able to recieve such gifted ministers, and a heartful thanks to those who are retiring.

    By Blogger Sean Langdon, at 7:09 PM  

  • I've always thought that 'thank you' sentiments - cards or otherwise - are appropriate for ministry calls - because I am thankful that people are willing to step into ministry callings.

    I too am excited about all the new calls and movements, especially Becky. I know her by way of a friend who is related to her via marriage, and I do think she is a good person for that role.

    It's always exciting to see new people being called to new roles and to think about how we get to contemplate those ahead of conference so we can truly affirm them, I do like our process in that way.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 8:59 PM  

  • It is an amazing time in the church. I am very excited about all these calls, and can hardly wait til we get to gather in community to reflect, share about these calls.
    Conference is going to be a glorious experience.

    By Anonymous Lyle II, at 3:15 PM  

  • Even the AP picked it up!
    "For the first time in its 147-year history, the head of the Community of Christ has called a woman to serve in the First Presidency."

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1794597/posts

    By Blogger Christian, at 9:36 AM  

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