The only one
A few weeks ago I was invited to breakfast with a few other pastors from my community. It was an ecumenical group, although no one said the word ecumenical. I was invited by one of the parents at my congregation's pre-school, a Catholic who loves our school and thinks it is awesome. He has been the instigator of a community "Faith Fest" for the last few years. There is music and other Texas-style entertainment. Our school has been responsible for "children's activities." All of the proceeds of the "Faith Fest" go to support local ministries and charities.
All of the pastors invited are involved in some way or another in upcoming Faith Fest. There were two from Baptist churches, two from nondenominational churches, and the priest from the large local Catholic parish. And me.
Did I mention as well that I was the only woman in the group?
For some reason, I was a little nervous about going to the breakfast. I am not sure why. I have been doing this pastoring gig for a fair number of years now. In my defense, I will say that I am new to this particular state, Texas. There are a few things that are different here. For example, there are no Cowboy Churches in Minnesota.
The man who organized this event said that the year he started it, he was sitting at a table with a Baptist pastor, a Lutheran pastor, and his priest, and he realized that in many different circumstances these Christians would not be sitting at a table with one another. They probably disagreed about many things, if you got right down to it. But they were coming together for something greater than the things they disagreed with.
This year, he wanted to make sure I would come. I would be the Only Woman Pastor at the table.
So I showed up, Minnesota accent and all. We talked about what was going well in our ministries. One of the churches was in transition, waiting for a new senior pastor. Another one was embarking on a building project. We all talked a little bit about wanting to have a positive impact on people's lives. That's what it's all about, right? It's about Jesus, and loving people. I said I might want to visit a Cowboy Church sometime on a Monday night, just to see what it was like.
A few weeks ago I was sitting around a table with some pastors from other faith traditions. We probably disagree about a lot of things, some of them important. I am not so naive that I believe that every one of those men thinks my calling is legitimate. But, for that hour, we didn't talk about those things. We just prayed, and talked about Jesus, and loving people.
Maybe, for the first breakfast, that was enough.
Originally posted at Faith in Community