Last summer, my husband and a friend rode RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. A daughter and I came along as the support team. She drove. I spun. (California Red, to be exact, a lovely sheep.) Towards the end of the trip, we met Don Ganyea and Scott Horsley, two NPR reporters. They’d travelled all over Iowa reporting the presidential race. Now they wanted to see the real thing. They weren’t officially riding for NPR. However, their team name was “No Pie Refused.” As we chatted, someone asked them what could be done to break the congressional logjam. “Make them ride RAGBRAI!” Horsley immediately responded.
There is something about getting people out of their heads and into something different that allows friendships to be formed and logjams to be cleared. Several years ago, I was at a General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church’s bi-annual get-together and legislation fest. I was staffing the booth for the Association of Stated Clerks. Across the aisle from me were the booths for Presbyterians for Renewal, a conservative organization, and The Presbyterian Layman, and even more conservative organization. Normally, putting me with staunch conservatives is an oil and water sort of situation – if you’re lucky. This time we went beyond lucky. The woman at the Layman booth was making cord on a lucette. The women at the Presbyterians for Renewal booth were knitting. I was spinning on a drop spindle. We got along famously.
Which brings me to World Communion Sunday. If world communion is ever to be a reality, we need to put down our theologies, and pick up our yarn, or our bikes, or our musical instruments, anything that gets us away from the arguments long enough to appreciate each other as people. Then when we go back to our theologies, we’ll debate as friends, not strangers. It won’t solve our problems. It will make us human enough to solve our problems together.
In honor of World Communion, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM. That’s world communion for you.