Roy Medley, ABCUSA General Secretary and fraternal delegate of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) at the recent Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome, urged the gathering “to emphasize the pastoral nature of the ministry which is entrusted to the whole church.”
Medley, who is chair of the BWA Commission on Interfaith Relations and the Membership Committee, as well as a member of the BWA General Council and Executive Committee, emphasized that “there is no perfect family and no perfect marriage.”
Rather, “in our broken world, families are not only a source of great blessing, they can also be a source of great harm as when a father molests his daughters, or brothers and sisters fight over inheritance. This is the pastoral reality: Families have their blessings and their dysfunctions.”
Medley said the world longs for, but rarely expects, the presence of Christ. “Instead they see us abandoning them in the midst of their greatest personal struggles because of their irregular situations.”
The BWA representative, who is also chair of the National Council of Churches USA, had joined other fraternal delegates to address the synod. These included representatives from the Orthodox, Methodist, Disciples of Christ and other Christian traditions.
The gathering, which convened from October 4-25, was in continuity with a similar synod in October 2014. It included Roman Catholic bishops from around the globe to discuss important issues facing families today.
American Baptist Churches USA is a member organization of the Baptist World Alliance. The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 232 conventions and unions in 121 countries and territories comprising 40 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism; promoting worship, fellowship and unity; responding to people in need; defending human rights and justice; and advancing relevant theological reflection.
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