Blue Elected to Compassion, Mercy & Justice Position

Post a Comment » Written on June 23rd, 2007     
Filed under: News
PORTLAND, OR (June 23, 2007) – Delegates to the 122nd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church on Friday elected Debbie Blue to be the first executive minister of the Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice.

The day proved emotional for Blue and her friends. In his emotional and moving introduction of the nomination, Executive Board member Lee Richman noted that his term is expiring and that Blue’s nomination “feels like a graduation gift from God.”

BlueRichman surprised the gathering when he told them that Blue was the perfect person to gather the Covenant – and then unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a bright yellow t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of the earth and the words, “Blue is the Glue.”

Suddenly, nearly 150 people also stood and removed their coats to reveal the same yellow shirt. They lined the center aisle and were interspersed across the meeting room. North Pacific Conference Superintendent Mark Novak arranged for the shirts to be printed.

“I had no idea that was coming,” a stunned Blue said afterwards.

The nomination was made immediately prior to the noon recess. When the meeting broke, Blue was still trembling. “I can’t put it into words,” she said. “It’s just so overwhelming. It’s overwhelming.

“I’m used to being in the background. I’m not used to this much attention,” added Blue, who has served as director of adult ministries in the Department of Christian Formation. Among her numerous accomplishments, she has helped guide development of the Covenant’s Sankofa Journeys and Invitation to Racial Righteousness.

“I can’t fathom God’s amazing grace, that he would ask me to do something this big,” she said.

To read previously published online Covenant News Service stories on her nomination and remarkable life, see “Debbie Blue.”

Although Blue was overwhelmed by the attention, she looks forward to beginning her term. “I don’t feel overwhelmed by what lies ahead,” she said. “I see that, not as my job, but as the church’s job. I’m just depending on Jesus to show me what to do. As a church we must listen and discern together.”

“It’s another great step for the denomination,” said President Glenn Palmberg, smiling broadly, after the morning session ended. “I know we have a long way to go, but this was a great step. It was a moment I’ll never forget.”

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