Hi, this is Barbara. Working from the computer room at the convention center.

Just got out of the morning plenary session, and the mood today was very different, after the vote passing the social statement last night.

The thing that stood out, to me, was that many of the "opponents", those who spoke strongly against the social statement and are still speaking against the ministry policies recommendation, were showing signs of emotional strain. Most of them were emotional. Several were strident. A few seemed shaky to me.

A friend pointed out that some of the traditionalists, especially the older folks, are having their world turned upside down and it leaves them feeling insecure and frightened. He said that, given our generation and social and cultural status, we can't really identify with where those folks are coming from. And the fact of the matter is that, given their generation and social and cultural experience, they have no concept of where we are coming from either. There is this huge gulf in understanding and frame of reference between the two groups.

My friend pointed out that there is common ground between these groups. That common ground is faith in Jesus.

Yesterday during the debate, before the vote on the social statement, a tornado hit Central Lutheran Church and the convention center. It did some damage to the steeple of the church and the convention center roof, but nobody was hurt. Several tables that were set up on the church grounds for a sidewalk cafe and pub were blown all the way up onto the convention center roof, but no windows were broken, and the people in the church and behind the large glass windows of the convention center were unhurt.

In the Goodsoil service at Central Lutheran last night, the reading, which was chosen months ago, was about Jesus and the disciples in the boat, in the wind storm, and the disciples' fear. The disciples woke Jesus and questioned whether he was going to help them. Jesus calmed the storm and asked the disciples why they still doubted and had such weak faith.

In the sermon, the pastor pointed out that we are in a storm at this assembly and in the ELCA, and everybody is a little shaken up,a little scared and unsure of what the future holds. We have to remember that Jesus is in the boat with us, and he has control of the storm.

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