Reconciliation

I have high hopes.  High hopes for my church and my congregation. 

It is all about reconciliation. 

The United Methodist Church, along with many other churches and religions, have had their own struggles with embracing those of us that are members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  There are LGBT persons who have either been outright denied membership, and pastors that were openly gay or lesbian that were denied the ability to continue as members of the clergy.  The belief of some in the church, is that homosexuality is inconsistent with church teachings.  For many of us, that is nowhere near good enough for what we are seeking in a church community.

Love, compassion, understanding, embracing us for who we are, and the gifts that we bring and can offer to others. 

So, there is a movement of reconciliation, within the United Methodist church that has been around for quite a number of years.  The Reconciling Ministries Network.  It promises all of us as LGBT members a place at the table, fully embraced and celebrated for the people that we are.

What a blessing, truly!  To think that a group of persons affiliated with a church believes that God welcomes all of us.  And that we can participate fully in a church.  The spiritual part of myself is essential and present no matter if I attend church or not, but the sense of community in a church is something inspires and encourages me.

We have had some terrific fellowship in our small, local Methodist congregation.  But, there are challenges that we need to face there.  The congregation being willing to educate themselves on who we are as people, the oppression and negativity that we have had to face in our lives, our need to feel safety, security, and a sense of connection within our church community.  Seems that it shouldn’t be that big of a challenge, but we are going head on with people’s long held beliefs here. 

Even so, I feel compelled to teach, to help, to challenge them in their own growth.  Just being tolerated has never been, and continues to not be good enough for me.  Gratefully so.  I need more than tolerance.  I need compassion, and embracing, and understanding.  I need to not be loved for who I am, yet hated for my “sin”.  That language separates me from you, not bring me closer.

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church, had three, simple rules that he ascribed to.  Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.

Could it be any simpler than that?

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6 thoughts on “Reconciliation

  1. This is good news indeed.
    Did you ever check out the link on my blog for Of course I could be wrong… The guy who runs it is an old, old friend of mine(old enough to have annoyed and hurt the hell out of me many times!) and he champions just the causes you speak of. He also offends enormous numbers of people, but he means well. Not for the faint hearted but often some extremely funny and uplifting stuff; a real smorgsabord of info!

  2. Very timely Miss Vanessa…I clicked on your blog thinking if she doesn’t have something new today I am emailing her to make sure she’s okay! And you are!! I think a feeling of belonging is important for anyone but for someones who is viewed as different by their community and not welcomed into the church they so rightly deserve to be in would be heart breaking. That couldn’t be easy. I hope this is true for all…to be accepted as you are no matter what. This is a great start and you have to proud to be standing up for yourself and others. I commend you!!! I have high hopes!! 🙂

  3. viv: I have not seen that link, but I will indeed, check it out to get more information…… I have become more assertive and direct in my approach and education of others. I guess that is in direct correlation with my self love and assuredness that I am just the way that God intended…….

    Nikki: I know, time got away from me, I missed being here! I was so moved and inspired by so much that I learned last week, as far as ways to approach my congregation and get them thinking, talking and growing. I don’t know where it will lead, but I am certain it is all part of the plan, and can only be good……. thanks for checking on me!!!

  4. Jonathon’s blog is not for the faint hearted, not that I think you are. He’s as bigotted as anyone in his own way, but he is a dear soul and he’s carved out a very real community there. It’s also one of the most popular blogs out there on theology and so on. Interesting folks pop up. A true testimony to the power of the internet to pull folk together.
    I’m feeling very unwell still and very low. So I go over and look at the cartoons and the caption competitions and the satire and it makes me smile when ti doens’t make me cry!

  5. Woww…!!! Somehow even though I do not belong to the religion of Christianity, my dad and everyone in my family who still go to church every Wednesday… 🙂 The teachings are something that I do relate to 🙂

  6. Deeps: Being part of an organized church has provided a source of comfort for our family, and a sense of belonging. But in my mind, the teachings of Christ embody so many other types of religions as well; it really is about loving and serving one another, our fellow human, and other living creatures……. it is a beautiful thing…

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