Summary of the Reflections of Glenn Pontier

After calling attention to events of broader significance that served as context for the event we are talking about today—the walk on the moon and the Woodstock concert, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the deaths in Vietnam of fifty-five thousand young Americans and a half million Vietnamese—Glenn described his own experience of the General Synod. Mike Moran, Joe Favale, John de Velder, and he, all of whom “had been in the church for all our lives,” decided to turn their draft cards in “to the church.” One of the four (Glenn forgets which) made a speech to synod, privilege of the floor having being requested by Glenn's father, asking that the cards be received. The synod debated the issue and came, by a close vote, to the decision not to accept the cards, but to “say nice things about us.”

An unofficial committee formed itself and took the draft cards, but Glenn regards the church itself as having failed the four of them. “The synod was not so important for me therefore; it let me down.”

He subsequently went to prison for “not participating in the Selective Service system….When I went to jail, I was visited by people, some of them in this room. The wife of a minister was wearing my name on a bracelet….When I got out I didn't have a place to live, and the seminary gave me an apartment.” But he was not welcomed in his local church. In conclusion Glenn asked us, as himself someone self-consciously “not a Christian” but rather “a follower of Jesus”: “if they put you on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty?”