Tuesday, 15 July 2008

From Tombstone Arizona to the Edinburgh assembly: Roberta Rominger's address to the URC Assembly and two women elected as assembly moderators

At the United Reformed Church assembly last week the Revd Roberta Rominger gave her first address as general secretary of the denominaiton last week saying this:

The URC received me, welcomed me, included me, nurtured me, taught me pretty much everything I know, gave me opportunities, forgave my mistakes challenged and deepened my faith. I could give you 50 reasons why I love this church, but the first on the list would be the most important – I find God here. Have done from the first day. Still do, over and over and over again. I find God in the faithfulness of this church, its imagination, its boldness… and in its restlessness, its dissatisfaction, its unease. What is God saying to us through the signs of these times? Church attendance on the wane, aggressive secularism dominating the media? Widespread rejection of “institutional religion” even by many who would consider themselves Christians. There are fresh expressions of church around us as varied as the creativity of the Christians pioneering them. We welcome them – they give us hope - but few of them are self-sustaining and scarcely any could support the sort of infrastructure this Assembly represents, to educate the next generation of leaders or engage with world Christianity or speak a Christian word to power or administer a pension plan. What is God saying? Are we facing the demise of church as we have known it? Or if we listen carefully enough and respond openly enough, is there a future for us in God’s unfolding purposes?

And as the URC listened to its first ever woman general secretary it also elected two women to be joint assembly moderators from 2010 the Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe and Val Morrison. Sometimes I'm proud of the church which helped nurture my faith.