Friday, July 18, 2008

So why am I crying?

I've had tears tonight.

But why?

When Peggy Johnson signed her acceptance speech after being elected Bishop she told us that she prayed she will be remembered as a Bishop who worked for social justice and
loved with the heart of Christ. And she will be. This is a beautiful day.

But our sisters are turned against each other. People are forced to stand with GLBT people or people of color. There are only crumbs left for the deaf. The center is guarded by those ravenous few who live by an unholy spirit. Those with the power are so deeply, deeply afraid of even the smallest risk.

I am so tired of waiting. I am so ready for God to act now.

I am so ready for God to act now.

There are some days where I think it is going to happen, when I think I know what that will be like. But then night comes and I have so many tears.

You know I believe.

My faith has never been stronger. But I have never acknowledged sins so clearly. I have never felt pain so stinging. I have never seen the road stretch out for so long.

I have never had such reason to be happy.

So why am I crying?

God bless this church.


Kirk said...

Because we live in a Church that's structured in a way that we cannot have it all.

When we invest so much authority and significance into such a small group of people, it forces split loyalties.

As I sat there utterly alone through the entire ordeal of General Conference votes, then went to the Reconciling safe room only to sit there surrounded by LGBT friends and allies and understood not a single word...I realized what you're realizing now.

We simply can't have it all until that final day comes. Such is the wistfulness of living in the liminal time between the resurrection and the rapture.

Anonymous said...


I've been hearing about Peggy Johnson for a few days from afar, and I am so proud of our church for electing her. A true leader is one who calls the body to greater accountability.

There will always be those we don't reach. The poor we will always have with us. Christ calls us to love as he did-- to embrace the world, and that is a vision we can never attain until we are truly perfect in love. Wesley thought that would happen in this life. I think--at least for the body of the church--that is an eschatalogical vision.

As Kirk says, our focus on one particular group, which currently represents our denomination's greatest sins of commission (we wound by what we do and fail to do to the glbt community) causes us to ignore many many others who represent our sins of omission (we fail to embrace the deaf community, the rural poor, the mentally ill, the earth...). We're living in the in-between, envisioning a kindom far greater.

Kirk, \m/_

that's my best attempt at words of love in ASL.


Matt Algren said...

A gay friend (online friend, but still...) once said "We're here, we're queer, we're exhausted." Sounds like that's where you are right now.

It also sounds like you elected a good bishop. My jurisdiction's still waiting for a final result. Sending a message about The Gays seems to be the cause célèbre on this one. Right now the top two are pastor of a Reconciling congregation and a heavy-duty anti-gay preacher/administrator.

As in, he's on the board of directors for the Confessing group. Not that you'd know that from his official bio. I only found out because I found an interview where he used the phrase "homosexual lifestyle". RED FLAGS UP!!!

The good guys were winning as of 11:00 last night, but who knows what today will bring.

Kirk said...

Becca, yeah we've got a good Bishop in with Peggy. She's an ally who will only become bolder as time goes on.

Matt, wow. That's gonna be a long ongoing vote battle in North Central. I've seen votes go on like that where two sides get polarized and it goes on forever until someone starts suggesting some previously unknown person that sort of compromises the polarization.

I sat next to David Bard when I was invited to sit in the front area of the Faith and Order legislative group at General Conf. so I could see the interpreters better. He seemed like a nice guy. I was glad to see him stole up before the end of conference.

That's more or less how Susan Morrison got elected in.

Jules said...

Will, you all must be SO proud of the vote to support the California clergy. I know, the ruling says "null & void" but the decision of those clergy & especially your Jurisdiction to support them is wonderful.

Matt Algren said...

Kirk, that's exactly what happened. It was pretty clearly divided, but somewhere around the 15th vote Julius Trimble from East Ohio started rising in the vote count. He was elected on the 22nd vote. I know little about him, but what I did find seemed good, though I couldn't find any reference to an opinion on homosexuality.

The good news is that ex-gay guy lost votes and dropped to a distant third place before he withdrew.

It's a long road, but we'll get there.

Anonymous said...

I'm from East Ohio, and I attend CWM while attending the BU School of Theology. I can vouch for Julius Trimble on some level because my involvement with CCYM landed me at conference with him for the past 9 years. He listens to God's spirit within him, which is a trait needed in bishops at all times. I can't say anything on his opinion regarding homosexuality. Typically, black churches are more conservative on Biblical interpretation but progressive on social issues, so he could go either way. I'm personally delighted he was elected because he is wise, prayerful, and passionate. I've always looked up to him.

Love to you, Kirk and Will! I am praying for you!

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