Diary of a Delegate: TwitterSermon

I had a very strange experience last night. I preached a sermon on Twitter. It had been a very hard day (more on that another time) and I had left the voting area (called the bar– not a social establishment for beverage!), and sat for a time with some friends, members of the GLBTQ and ally community. The music began, and a joyful liturgical dance that moved me deeply, but I felt such a disconnect because my friends and loved ones were cut off from the worship, both by the voting area, and by some of the votes we had taken.

Members of the Common Witness Coalition, as I was writing, the “church”– the broken, internally and externally wounded, frightened church– I was thinking of was not the UMC. It was the Coalition. My word is for us in our pain.

I wavered on the edge, and I began to write:

Having a hard time crossing back into the (voting) bar. #NoBarriersInWorship #gc2012 #GC12love

Okay that prayer changed my mind. Maybe I can worship now. #gc2012 #GC12love #NoBarriersInWorship

I’m having a really tough time with this service. It’s profoundly powerful #NoBarriersInWorship #gc2012 #GC12love

Precisely because of its power I feel the disconnect. #NoBarriersInWorship #gc2012 #GC12love

(we sang the wonderful song “You Are Mine,” which includes the lyric “I will call your name, embracing all your pain, stand up, now walk and live.” and the refrain “I love you and you are mine.”)

How many people want to hear us say “I love you and you are mine”? So much pain to embrace. #NoBarriersInWorship #gc2012 #GC12love

That’s right folks. I’m preaching on twitter. Deal with it. #NoBarriersInWorship #gc2012 #GC12love

The music this evening has reminded us of our boundless love of God & God’s boundless love of us. #gc2012 #GC12love #twittersermon

Would that our love of one another were as boundless, moving us to shout, clap, leap, or sigh and weep. #gc2012 #GC12love #twittersermon

I didn’t preach this week. I’ve got a sermon inside aching to be born, and I’m 1500 miles from my pulpit. #gc2012 #twittersermon #GC12love

(we heard the story of Jesus asleep in the boat as the disciples cried out in fear at the wind and waves, until Jesus awoke– Lord, save us! We are perishing!– and rebuked the storm)

We are indeed perishing. Not as a church or institution- not important. We’re perishing as a beloved community. #gc2012 #twittersermon

We are perishing because we do not adequately love each other, trust each other. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Huddled in our broken, leaky boat, we are terrified. Jesus sleeps on. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

And we think Jesus is sleeping because he doesn’t care. So we yell louder in our fear and distrust. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Hey Jesus! Don’t you see that we are dying over here? Don’t you care? Save us! #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

(I’m having a Pentecost moment. There’s another sermon in this room, and I hear it too) #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012 (The preacher in the room was preaching a sermon that was sort of in conversation with what I was writing, sort of source material, and sort of separate)

Afraid, and seemingly alone, we forget that Jesus hasn’t abandoned us, he’s in the boat with us. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

He’s sleeping, not because he doesn’t care, but because he & he alone is not afraid. He is not perishing. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

When we shake him awake, begging him to save us, he utters a word not of power but of peace. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

He doesn’t tell us who is right. He doesn’t make a theological claim. He invites peace. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Beloved, we are not at peace. We are in the midst of the tempest. A storm of our own making. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Our distrust, discord, and disconnect roil around us. Our brokenness threatens to pull us under. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

(can’t stop now) #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Christ, save us! Do you not see that we are perishing? #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Peace. Peace be with you. Peace be among you. peace be between you. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

May we love & trust God as much as Jesus does, at peace in the leaky, storm tossed boat. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

(I received and replied to another tweet: “@KVG_DC: @pastorbecca Thank you for captioning that wonderful sermon…” lol not captioning brother. #twittersermon is my own words.)

May we love & trust one another as much as we love and trust Christ. Leaping, clapping, sighing, weeping. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

Amen. #twittersermon #GC12love #gc2012

I feel lighter & better. I have never done anything like that. I’d say I don’t know how it happened, but… #twittersermon #spirit #gc2012

 

4 Responses

  1. Heh! Sorry to have interrupted your preaching! I bad sound tech last night on the feed + accented speaker + my lousy hearing = I had next to no idea what the preacher up on the stage was saying. But the preacher on the floor did an outstanding job!

    I’ve had that experience too actually. Had an Easter Sermon roll through my head while TLS was preaching at CWM. It became the CWM ‘send off to general conference 2008’ sermon. Stevie Wonder, The Pet Shop Boys, The Weepies, Pablo Neruda, the man whom Jesus loved, and us….at the edge of the abyss that is the empty tomb. It ended up being one of my more memorable sermons there…just ask them..hah!

    • That’s awesome, and I love that you assumed that rockin’ sermon was being preached by, you know, the recognized preacher. I’m flattered!

  2. Over here in Sweden I was sleeping as you were twitter preaching, so I missed it! But, thank you so much for letting the spirit move you and use you for a twitter sermon. By reading what you said when I woke this morning, I know that had I been in the bar with you, listening to the worship going on around me, I would have wanted to soak in everything, at yet, felt disconnected and confused at the same time. How can we sing of love, communion, connection, & openness when we are not practicing it? Thank you so so so much for your love & for sharing your sermon so many of us could worship with you!

    ~Liz

  3. I was part of your congregation as you preached this sermon last week. It has stuck with me and as I think about my sermon for this Thursday I think part of it will fit right in with what I need to tell the confirmands who are being baptized and for members of our church. Can I have permission to use some of the excerpts from this sermon?

    Thank you for your dedication to our denomination and your hard work at GC…I hope you have found some time to regain strength, peace, and sleep.

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