November 8, 2008

The Faces Of Hope

She is a tall, athletic young black woman: articulate, intelligent, Christian, and gay. She finally sat her mother down just a few years ago and told her she is a lesbian. Her mother's response? To tell her daughter that she is an abomination that she would rather see dead than gay. (My god. What mother could wish that upon her child?) This young woman has found a home in her church, where she is welcomed as a child of God.

They are a couple in their late fifties. They're here to find support for their son, a young adult who was born their daughter. They are active in their church to find a place for him, as God has provided a place at the table for him. They are open and determined that their son will be made welcome.

He is a theologian who believed homosexuality was sinful until he examined the contemporary studies that concluded otherwise. And he changed his mind. He is spending his retirement writing books on the subject and traveling the country to share his newfound knowledge. He has been met with cheers and jeers, and he continues on.

These and hundreds more were the faces of hope that attended the Covenant Network of Presbyterian Churches this week in Minneapolis. Many were pastors who were here to find fellowship with like-minded religious leaders. Many were laypeople, here to be recharged with hope before going out into the world again to fight the Good Fight. And many like me were here to learn, make new friends, and find new resources to take home to their churches.

I am the face of hope. I join thousands taking action to make a change, to guide millions in understanding the effect of legislation and doctrine that segregates and excludes. It is time to intentionally, openly include all and share the communion of Spirit.

Graphic courtesy of Terry Inc.


Java said...

SO glad you were able to go! It sounds like a fantastic conference. You have my support 100%.

Roxrocks said...

High Five!!!

Hope indeed!

tornwordo said...

Good work!

Ur-spo said...

Amen to that - and brava to you!

David said...

While those you described are all brave souls, to me you are the hero because you were there out of conscience, not out of necessity.

Christopher said...

That's so funny. When I was last in Minneapolis, at the same convention center I assume you went to, I attended with my ultra-Christian mother who took me to John Piper's "Desiring God Conference". It was the complete opposite of what you talk of here: preachers listing off people who burn in hell, rich old white people scoffing at anyone who isn't like them and of course the usual call for the lines to be full at the book store.

I'm glad your trip wasn't anything like mine. (Although I LOVED the city, as you know! It was the only reason I went :-p)

Patrick said...

It's always inspiring to read about you (and many others) seeking out these situations to connect and share. A lot of people right now are suggesting that riots are the answer. Maybe some people change their viewpoints when they see how upset or angry others are, but I think few like to feel bullied or threatened into a new mind-set. It's people changing one at a time, because someone they value comes to them and says "maybe you should look at this issue differently." I'm grateful for you, my friend.