Convene to Nuance Integrity

Earlier this week I read a friends completed dissertation. It’s Sara Rosenau, a pastor and friend within the United Church of Christ faith tradition. Sara is wicked smart. Very thoughtful. And playful. It’s a really nice combo. And I’m glad we are working together in support of a cultural evolution in the Central Pacific Conference.

Sara’s dissertation is filled with good developed content (150 ish pages) and fantastic concise gems built around her overarching theme of becoming church, with particular focus on an ecclisiology of failure, embodied politics, and queer grace. It’s loaded. It’s full. I told Sara that it advances scholarly work and human consciousness. It’s the real deal.

Here’s the utmost gem for me, as one who has been working much with faith communities over the last ten years and trying to sort through the complexity to see what is unique about faith communities and participative leadership.

Sara writes, “Church doesn’t market to sell product. It convenes to nuance integrity.”

That’s gold, right! It’s not about manufacturing good humans. Though that has been tried with much success in some traditions. That success tends to top out with obedience, which has always felt kind of disappointing to me. Clear thinking, inspired community able to wrestle with all kinds of good, bad, and ugly — that’s a lot more compelling to me. I love Sara’s second part. “It convenes to nuance integrity.” Still gold! That’s the part that recognizes that some things must be done together, this nuancing. And it recognizes something that is already there. Already in people.

Thanks Sara. Clear. And accurate. And beautifully spoken.

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