(from Stacey Midge)
Conversations was not a misleading title for this weekend's event; there were indeed many conversations. Some were enlightening, some challenging, some inspiring, some irritating. I had conversations with people I've known since my first entrance into the RCA in 1999 and people whose names I've never heard. This crazy melange of perspectives and contexts is the RCA, and I was deeply grateful for the value we place in face to face gatherings. Even as we grow and change, we still feel fairly small at times like these, when I realize how rare it is to have such personal access to the leaders of one's denomination, and to be asked to lend our voices to a chorus of witnesses as we try to discern a path that we can travel together, despite all of our differences.
One thing Conversations was not for me, however, was comfortable. I didn't really realize why it was uncomfortable until I shifted into the meetings of the Commission for Women yesterday. The CFW is comfortable for me. I've been serving on it for six years. The work and the people are familiar. More than that, within that group, we speak a common language. Our contexts and experiences are different, but at least in terms of our work together, we share common values. The ways that we speak about God and faith are not identical, but they are relatable. We don't have to do much explaining of terminology or concepts. If we're not entirely on the same page on everything, at least we understand each other. I can speak freely in the way that I do in my daily life and ministry and people get it. I get it when they do the same.