on the church united

I'll admit that I haven't yet done this week's reading for my Theology in an Ecumenical Context class (which is Monday so reading must happen tomorrow!).

But tonight, I had an amazing experience of the Church united ... the first Seattle Freedom Prayer Gathering. People from a variety of Christian Churches--mostly evangelical and nondenominational, but also Catholics and mainline protestants--gathering to pray for and end to human trafficking.

It was powerful to experience so many different expressions of prayer and relationships to our creator God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I was on the program to pray for conversion of heart for human traffickers. I followed a former US Congresswoman and two amazing charismatic woman preachers ... a hard act to follow. But it wasn't about me, it was about God's dream of freedom and liberation for all God's children. And the Spirit was very present.

There's the old joke that Catholics tend to sit in the back pew. For the most part, at least in our American culture, we're not particularly expressive pray-ers. It was so interesting to be with people praying out loud, shouting Amen or Yes God, arms stretched out to their Father God. Not my usual church experience. But even though it was a stretching experience, it was also definitely a God experience. We also had moments of quiet prayer and more liturgical prayer which I'm more inclined to. A great mix and experience of what the church united might be like.

In my Ecumenical Theology class, one thing that I've picked up on is that the movement is founded on the belief that we are one church. We are unified in Christ, and I felt that tonight. Our different flavors if you will don't need to divide us, but can be an opportunity for strength. Unity in diversity.

The movement to end human trafficking is such a bridge building opportunity, bringing together people of all faiths and political beliefs, united by the belief that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, have inherent dignity, and are meant to be free. Even if I haven't done my homework for my ecumenical theology class, tonight we were doing theology ecumenically. And God I think was very pleased.


Cathy said...

Thanks for sharing this precious church experience of unity. Yes we are being led together to confront enormous human systems of exploitation. But we call together upon our God to help us. So glad you participated in our names.

Markus von Steinfort said...

Thank you so much for being a part of organizing and leading the Freedom Prayer Gathering, Sister Susan, and for sharing your thoughts here on your blog this evening. It was a real privilege to participate in this with you and so many other wonderful folks, not only to pray together around the issues of slavery and human trafficking, but to see a visual example of the Church uniting in so many of its beautiful and even sometimes beautifully chaotic diversity.