Thursday, June 07, 2012
I'm proud to be Evangelical United Brethren (EUB)!!!
I'm proud to be from the lineage in the United Church of Canada that comes from the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Canada.
In 1968, the EUB joined with the United Church of Canada and became part of the tent, in which we all reside.
Along the way though, the UCC seemed to forget that we came, and it definitely forgot the promises that were made ... we're still waiting to see the shaking hands (above) on the UCC crest. And now, as I've noted previously, the UCC is getting ready to once again revisit and revise the Crest of the United Church, and it has forgotten (again) to include us.
This saddens me for two reasons. One is because a promise is still left unfulfilled, and those who were part of the joining of these two demoninations back in 1968 are becoming fewer and fewer in number. But the bigger reason this saddens me is because it is a constant reminder of the disconnect between the words we speak as a Church (Denomination) about inclusion and welcome, and the utter failure to really live those words in a meaningful way.
I look back on my experience in Theology College and remember with sadness the chapel service we led drawn from the Blue Hymn Book of the United Church, and resources in the 1969 Service Book ... we were immediately condemned for being "exclusionary and sexist" for our choices. Yet, one of our classmates - an older woman was feeling excluded by the gender-neutral and feminization of God, and the lack of traditional Hymns and prayers in our weekly chapel services ... thankfully the Rev. Dr Bob Bater encouraged and defended us in our choice. But the damage was done ... my sense of who the United Church was was in that experience forever tinged with a deep cynicism that has only been re-enforced in the 20 years since ...
Over and over, the Church has, in its zealousness to be open, welcoming, liberal and progressive forgotten its core roots and its core values ... we are A CHURCH. We are the body of Christ incarnate in the world. We are the very children of God called to care for ALL, not just a select few who make us comfortable and who stroke our ego.
As a fine and very wise EUB preacher once said to me - "We are NOT a warm pink fuzzy social club called to give people hugs and tell them it's okay ... we are the BODY of CHRIST Risen and Incarnate in the world. We are called to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable and to LIVE the Gospel."
I wonder if that's why the EUB remains the forgotten Fourth Partner of Church Union in the UCC??
We were too Germanic in our outlook, and too upfront in our insistence that faith is best live, not spoken ...
I wonder ...