I grew up in radical congregationalism (Church of Christ for those who haven’t heard me talk about it before). I only saw the laying of hands at ordinations. It was also the same with my Baptist cousins. Laying of hands only happened at ordinations.
I WAS at the closing worship at GA. And I was more than a little uncomfortable. But hell, I’m uncomfortable at a lot of UU worship services.
But let me tell you why I was uncomfortable. If you look at our closest religious cousins (at least polity-wise), the Disciples and the UCC, you will notice that they have a position called something like “General Minister AND President.” We, my friends, do NOT have that. We have a President. By that very word, it means that the position is PRIMARILY administrative, NOT pastoral. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that being President cannot be a ministry. It can be. But, it is ADMINISTRATIVE. The twain do not meet, at least in our associational structure.
Now…I’ve been to many services of anointing where hands were layed (am I using the right spelling?). But that’s not what the closing service was. Or at least, that’s not what it should have been. Yet that was the feel of it.
As for the “healing” that came from the service; specious argument. That should have been a separate service of its own. I didn’t need healing, as I wasn’t a delegate and didn’t have a horse in this race. Both candidates disappointed me, so I didn’t care who won. I was just glad the damn thing was over so that candidate fliers/buttons/other campaign crap wouldn’t be pushed on me. And….there were just as many people at GA who were NOT delegates as were delegates. To make the closing ceremony about the election was a mistake to me. Installing elected officers of the association should have happened in Plenary, and the closing worship should have been a prelude to GA 2010’s Opening Worship.
Just my opinion.