Transparency and a Woman’s Gifts

On Friday night “Joy” and I went to a public session of the Indiana Michigan Mennonite Conference at Bethany Christian Schools.   

“Joy” said the sermon was good, and it was, but what impressed me most was the role of our pastor’s wife as worship leader.  I saw her gift as a worship leader with new appreciation.

News anchors and politicians are disturbed by the invasion of citizen privacy by Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, and National Security Administration.  At the same time congressional committees  demand that they be given volumes of emails from the administration, and harass  government agencies if they don’t get everything they ask for.  So the Old Fool wonders why government agencies must be transparent when high value is placed on privacy as the right of citizens.   

Long ago, the Old Fool decided that anything he communicated through the internet would become public knowledge.  He would be happy to have the person who examines the internet for the president to be among the 300 who daily visit And I wish he would refer A Red Line to the president or to the state department.  Transparency is a good thing.

On Saturday evening I went again to the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. Again our pastor’s wife was transparent about her gift as a worship leader. 

The main speaker was an African-American woman, a co-pastor of the Mennonite  Church Without Walls in Elkhart, Indiana, and a pastor’s wife.  She was transparent about the difficulties faced by a pastor and a pastor’s wife.  She dramatically urged all pastors and pastor’s wives to lay their  burdens  down, and to let them lay.

The session ended with a communion service.  The regional pastors of the conference served the emblems.  John Powell, long time African-American churchman, was among them.  After all had been served, Powell lingered at the front of the auditorium and movingly led the congregation in singing the spiritual: 

Florida trip Jan14 002Guide my feet while I run this race./ Guide my feet while I run this race. /Guide my feet while I run this race, /for I don’t want to run this race in vain!

Hold my hand while I run this race./Hold my hand while I run this race./Hold my hand while I run this race,/for I don’t want to run this race in vain!

Stand by me while I run this race./Stand by me while I run this race./Stand by me while I run this race./for I don’t want to run this race in vain! 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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