Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I needed to speak up....

Hand in Hand, we the people of Park Slope United Methodist Church - black and white, straight and gay, old and young, rich and poor - unite as a loving community in covenant with God and the Creation. Summoned by our faith in Jesus Christ, we commit ourselves to the humanization of urban life and to physical and spiritual growth."

-- The PSUMC Creed

Tonight we went to a wonderful church in Brooklyn for a Taize service of silence, prayer and meditative songs. It was wonderful experience. What caught my eye as we entered the church was their creed on the outside of the church. That is what you see above. It just made my day. Some of you might be reading this and do not agree with the creed due to your feelings on homosexuality. I do not mean for this to be a time to argue or disagree. It is something I wanted to share because this Creed is how I feel each church should approach ministry and community. It was refreshing to know that there are churches out there that do. I guess I have been afraid for a long time to speak up for how I feel ministry should be approached because I felt I was younger and did not have a voice or I wanted to avoid confrontation and conflict. Yet today I feel empowered to bring this up and to share how I feel. Today we discussed power and gender in one of our sessions and I decided to take some advice from that. Some days you have to pick your battles but sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe is right. Today I am standing up, I am using my voice. Not to be a voice of conflict but a voice to cause people to ask the hard questions of why? To open dialogue. To let everyone have a voice at the table. So my opinion is this....

We have no right to judge people, that is God's job. Jesus went into mission and spent time with the marginalized. He went where everyone else would not dare. He embraced every community he came into contact with. I feel he is calling us to do the same. We should not exclude the GLBTQ Community (Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual, transgender, and queer community) from being in worship and community with us and we should not exclude them from leadership. It is our job to love our neighbor no matter their sexual preference.

Everyone needs a place at the table (and at sunday morning worship), and they need to feel safe and welcomed there.

You might not agree with me, you might be mad at me. I hope you will still accept me in our communities we have made together. I cherish each community I have come into contact with over the years. Let us all learn to be in an open, loving and excepting communities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It really hit home when Alycia talked about someone whose brother was gay, and then committed suicide. So the question is...what if a church had welcomed that brother in, not ostracized that brother? It makes me think.

By the way, when you use "except" you might want to switch it to "accept," because they actually have opposite definitions when used in the verb form ;-)