“The Commission on a Way Forward was a process of watching and listening. It was not an interruption to the work of God. It was and is the work. It was not an argument that distracted us from the mission. It was and is the mission. Now the work and the mission is in your hands,” said Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, in his opening worship sermon.
He reminded the delegates that they each came to St. Louis with a story. It may be a story of hope, or a story of pain. Each person’s story is personal, but their story is not the only story, because God has a story, too – a story that includes that which has been excluded and salvages that which has been thrown away.
“Sisters and brothers, in these three days, make every effort to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern. Remember: you are the people of the cross and the flame,” Carter said.