President Veazey, thank you.

Dear President Veazey,

I just finished listening to your sermon this evening at the 2010 World Conference.  I’m grateful, again, for your message and leadership.  Thank you for reminding me of who I am and reminding us, the church, of who we are.

As the baptized, we are first a new creation in Christ.  Before we are even male or female, Greek or Jew, any nationality or ethnicity, slave or free, we are one in Christ.  (Galatians 3:28)   Our oneness in Christ is first, prior to any other aspect of our identity.  Amidst every question about our identity, your prophetic leadership reminds us that the very meaning of our lives in in Christ.  The meaning of the Restoration is in Christ.

When you shared your leadings and meditation on Galatians 3:28 January 17th, I was spiritually moved.  My heart radiated with gratitude.  I, too, have been led to this scripture amidst Paul’s writings in my own study in consideration of the ethical and theological issues taking shape in the church.  I, again, received a personal testimony of the Holy Spirit at work in the church through your leadership.  After years of frustration with church and my own spiritual formation in ecumenical study, I feel affirmation for the church and personally deeply affirmed.  You are leading the church with a witness of Christ – a prophetic witness to Christ and call to discipleship in community that I share and know to be true.

President Veazey, thank you for prophetically leading the church and defining your prophetic leadership by your witness of Jesus .  Thank you for choosing not to lead by personal agenda about the church’s identity.  Thank you for not leading with your views on this or that issue.  Thank you for leading with a prophetic vision that transcends individual perspectives or generational bias.  Thank you for prophetically leading by the light and witness of your testimony of God’s work and purpose in Jesus Christ.  Thank you for reminding us of our call to discipleship, Christ’s call to mission and relationship, and our call to be God’s community in witness of him.  Thank you for prophetically leading by calling us to Christ in order to be the church.

Thank you, and Fred Craddock, for reminding us how to read scripture and what scripture is for.  Thank you for reminding us not to simply read scripture to answer our questions, but to utilize it in light of the grace and character of the God it witnesses to.  Thank you for prophetically pointing our spiritual attention to the church’s moral issues and theological questions, not as big problems, but as an invitation to go deeper with God.  Thank you for calling us and our witness forward to embrace these challenges.   Thank you for putting our lives amidst a Restoration journey that is still unfolding.  Thank you for reminding us that we walk with God amidst scriptural times.

Thank you for reminding us that people suffer and die unnecessarily of disease, hunger, and injustice while we haggle over ecclesial issues and concern over identity.  Thank you for reminding us that the work of Zion is with Christ amidst world– our world and its communities.

Thank you for calling the North Atlantic church to greater global awareness.  Thank you for calling us to become an international community of signal communities.  Thank you for calling us to become a Community of Christ.

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