First Person

A church for the kids: Why I still care about denominational politics

Denominational meetings can be difficult. My Sunday school class reminds me what's at stake.

We knew this was an im­portant denominational meeting. We had each prepared by reading our dockets of background information and position papers. We had met with church leaders in our regional conferences. And we had prayed regularly for the leading of the Holy Spirit—that God would open us to her counsel.

Now the 20 of us—representatives from all parts of our church—sat around a table listening and arguing, trying to discern together a faithful decision for all our congregations across the nation. We voted on the status of LGBTQ pastors in our denomination, on whether we would recognize them as true ministers of God.

Sitting in those boardrooms—my head echoing with the voices of our constituencies, my mind recalling all the relevant theological arguments—I would remind myself why I was there. I remembered what I was supposed to be doing with the power delegated to me. I thought about Sundays at my church, the hour before worship begins, when I join the kids to sing about God. We shout out lyrics about Abraham and Sarah, about being children of God; we dance around the front of the sanctuary, sticking out our arms and legs, twisting and turning: “Right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, nod your head, turn around, sit down!”