I don’t remember in what capacity a young Elizabeth Soto came to the Southeast, but I do remember her, and I remember that in a conversation with her I affirmed her gifts. Today she is Elizabeth Soto Albrecht, the moderator of Mennonite Church USA.
In a letter to the church our sister calls pastors and leaders to lead the church to our highest calling to be one. If you don’t have time to read more, I suggest you click now on the link that will take you to the MCUSA Website and read her heartfelt letter to the church and its leaders.
Richard A. Kauffman of Goshen wrote the following on facebook and gave me permission to post it here: “It is both an embarrassment and a shame that some Christians are so insecure in their faith and intellectually lazy that they can’t accomodate the best findings of science. There is a long tradition in Christian faith that believes God wrote two books, Holy Writ and nature; the one deals more with the who and why questions, the other with the what, when and how questions. The one is value based and the other is fact based. If God is the source of both, then these two books can’t be in contradiction with each other, nor can they be incommensurate with each other. It is up to us to try to figure how these two “books” complement, rather than contradict each other.” Ponder Kauffman’s words. He places burdens on us.
Which book is a revelation from God? What written values complement facts put forward by scientists. Gerald May was a medical scientist who wrote powerfully about “Addiction and Grace.” He declared that in writing his book his deepest human indebtedness was to chemically addicted people who taught him that major addiction is the sacred disease of our time. “Sacred” is May’s word.
Sacred may seem an unfit word to describe a disease, but could not the diseases and infirmities that brought people to Jesus be considered sacred? This Old Fool has not signed letters on either side of the present controversy in the church, but he has written his own letters and spoken publicly and privately in hope that the threat of another damaging split will bring us all to Jesus to discover anew that we are truly and totally one.
If the prayers of Elizabeth Soto Albrecht are to be answered, if we allow writ values and scientific fact to inform us, if divisiveness is to become a sacred evil, minds must be changed. The search for information about Dr. May led me to the website of an annual seminar held in his memory. There I found a lecture on youtube by Richard Rohr that enlightens me. I recommend it as a lecture that seems to me to be another word from God for this moment.
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