December 8, 2008

In The Beginning

Woohoo! I'm on fire with the outcome of our meeting this morning. I met with our senior pastor and four associate pastors to tell them what I've discovered over the past year of seminars and conferences. They were attentive and eager to understand. I learned too what our senior pastor has planned.

"Pastor" said he has planned from the beginning of his ministry here to make our church welcoming. When he started here almost five years ago, he said that all are welcome; and he has developed enough history and relationships now to take the first steps of intentionally addressing the GLBT community. Last month he took our governing body, the Session, through the process of discernment to approve the proposed changes in our denomination's constitution, to allow churches to ordain persons who are openly gay. (The fact that we are leaders in our synod may help swing the decision in what is a normally conservative area.)

I learned that in February he will specifically address that issue from the pulpit and invite discussion that evening in a special gathering. I will not be here for that—dang it—but I have been asked to be one of the teachers in a series of classes that month on GLBT issues.

We have just started, by word of mouth, a support group for parents of GLBT kids. It is too soon in the process to advertise in writing, but that will come after the sermon and class series. The pastors are now charged (after our meeting) with finding people whose testimony will show the "personhood" of the community we are intent on welcoming.

I brought about half of my library of resources for them to examine, and Pastor asked me to recommend five or six titles for our church library (which is large and well-used). Those titles are published in a monthly flyer, so subtle clues are being placed here and there as we move forward.

Pastor has taken my action plan and timeline seriously. All of those at the meeting will be reading the book I've asked them to read. All of them have access to my library and see me as a resource to which they can turn.

I'm high as a kite right now. I can't stop smiling. And I remember my brother David and wonder if he can see what is happening. This is for you, David, and for your family of choice, and because it is the right thing to do. I love you.

12 comments:

Java said...

Congratulations!! This is wonderful progress. So glad everyone in the church leadership seems to be moving in the same direction toward being more welcoming to the GLBT community.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

So nice to hear your excitement. I'm sure David is smiling, too!

Bear Me Out said...

This IS wonderful progress. Just remember, if it goes sour, he'll say it was all your doing. Be prepared to take a hit.

But I know you can do it. And I am so grateful to you for your ministry.

KittyHawk said...

I talked with a mutual friend of ours on the phone today. The conversation reminded me to check on your blog. I'm so glad I saw this post and I'm so proud to know you!

Bandana Jack said...

i am "kvelling". i couldn't be prouder or more touched. whenever someone not gay or related says i will not allow this to go on in silence, a tiny bit more hope lights my heart.

i hope someday i may contribute my song to the chorus of voices crying out for justice, validation, and the love that was intrinsic in christ's message.

i'll save the downer talk for when next we speak, and in any case, i doubt i will be bringing anything new to the discussion, just confirming the old truisms.

i think i can speak for your brother in offering our heartfelt gratitude to you and your pastoral heroes, for such they are. blessed are the peacemakers

tornwordo said...

Nice to see some positive outcome from your footwork.

Ur-spo said...

Good for you!
It is nice to know a person can make a difference.

David said...

You are so freakin' amazing. This is monumental. You are going to save lives. I totally forgot to check the blog yesterday but I'm thrilled to see things went so well. You ARE the change you want to see in the world.

Tater said...

Congratulations, that is great news! This very subject split my Episcopal church down the middle, and sent half of our congregates to form their own church. I am hoping that you will not be met with the same resistance, and are able to make some headway. I am very proud of your efforts, it is people like you that will change the world.

evilganome said...

As a heathen, I would like to add my congratulations. I understand how important faith is to so many people and it is encouraging to know that there really are some true Christians out there.

MartininBroda said...

God bless you, and he still has.

Dantallion said...

You see? A single voice CAN do a lot to effect change. Good for you, and I probably speak for a whole lot of people when I say: Thank you!