A Victory

This is a good day. My friend and colleague, Rev. Mary Martin, has avoided another attempt to remove her as pastor of Wallin United Church of Christ. We had a wonderful, Spirit filled worship this morning with Mary, I and three others preaching. About 16 new members joined the church this morning in support of Mary, and new persons have been joining every Sunday. The worship lasted over two hours. This in a predominantly white, mainline Protestant church. Sure, Mary and three of the other preachers are black, but the congregation responded with enthusiasm shouting their “Amens” and “Hallelujahs” with enthusiasm, not noticing the passage of time.

These are difficult times for pastors. As my friend Rev. Dick Rehm says, “Today, pastors have to choose between job security and integrity.” Mary has chosen integrity and has been the object of attack by a segment of the congregation intent on removing her, and along with her, the new members who joined as a result of her ministry (many of whom are LGBT). There are those who resist any kind of change in the church and want to go back to the way things were in the 50s. Of course, this is impossible. As with anything, it’s either change or die. Some would rather see the church die than change, but there are some bright spots of life where hope and a new vision prevail. It’s a struggle to preserve such dynamic ministries, but it is possible with God’s help.



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