The diversity of the Sierra Pacific Synod is well known. It is one of our greatest strengths, as well as one of our major challenges. The Synod is diverse geographically, politically, theologically, culturally, and in matters dealing with sexuality and sexual orientation. The majority of congregations are less diverse ethnically and socio-economically. One of the Synod’s strengths is that it welcomes and encourages diversity, particularly at a synodical level. One of our great challenges is how to work with and speak for such diversity. It can create an “us” versus “them” mentality. It can also create a fragmentation that makes forward movement slow and, at times, difficult. And it should be mentioned that our self-understanding that we are diverse sometimes blinds us from seeing the ways in which we are not.
How would you define “diversity” both in our congregations and in our mission field?
What do you consider to be the greatest blessings and greatest challenges of our diverse Synod?
How shall we, as a Synod, remain focused on our mission?