30 years ago — June 24, 1991
At the Salt Lake City assembly a year ago, so many people weren’t speaking to so many other people that the silence of their non-communication hung over the arid plateau like a pall. [At the Baltimore assembly this year], by and large, people were speaking. Callers to the Outlook in the weeks before the assembly often mentioned speaking to people they hadn’t spoken to in years. At the assembly itself, the same seemed true. … And it seemed that as a result of all this talk some things emerged upon which we could agree. The authority of Scripture emerged as a common bond among us, though of course, we differ about its interpretation. The sanctity of the marriage covenant … enjoyed powerful support, though the roles … within the relationship are still very much at issue. … The commitment of the church to the rights of racial minorities and women was unchallenged, though it is not apparent how much we are actually prepared to do about it. … But the time for dialogue has just begun. There was no agreement in Baltimore about the ordination of self-affirming, practicing homosexuals, only an agreement to “agonize” about the issue. We are far, far from consensus on many other sexuality-related issues, including abortion.
From the editorial “At least we’re talking” by John O. Wiederholt