Someone Else’s Decision

I know I have not yet fully embraced all of my emotions responding to the process and the outcome of the United Methodist General Conference that just wrapped up on Tuesday. But I know it’s important to both acknowledge and surrender the emotions I do recognize to the God who is bigger than any church or conference or hateful/oppressive/exclusionary speech and/or theology. This is my best attempt to reconcile with those emotions.
Someone else called a conference
A conference of 820 or so people to debate
Debate “the future of the denomination”
“The mission of the church”
“What the Bible really says”
What that means was someone else called a conference for a bunch of someone elses
     to debate my call
Those someone elses decided I am unfit for ministry
Their decision was that my life is incompatible with Christian teaching
Their decision drew the line in the sand that people like me can only go so far as to
     be baptized and nothing more
Their decision brutally attacked not only my call but also my humanity
Their decision tried to restrict the love of God
Someone else’s decision took away my opportunity to serve
     in the church God called me to
Those someone elses forgot the heart of the work they were doing, the mission of the church, the future of God’s love
They forgot they are not the ones who get to decide.
God is the one who knit me together in my mother’s womb
God is the one who looks at me and calls me good, queer identity and all
God is the one who inspired scriptures for us to wrestle with – wrestle that is until we
     start to understand the depth of the love God has for us and all of creation
God is the one who leads us and teaches us and makes us disciples
God is the one who speaks through me on Sunday mornings as I proclaim
     the Good News
And God is the one who calls me to ministry still. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
It takes everything in me to trust that call over the very loud, very ugly call of the
     United Methodist Church
It takes everything in me to not have a plan right now
It takes everything in me to wait for God’s voice to hear where I’m supposed to go
It takes everything in me to love the people who have taken my rights, my career,
     my dignity away by voting or standing with a theology that lacks full affirmation
It takes everything in me
It takes everything in me
BUT you better darn well believe I will give keep giving everything in me for the sake of spreading the love of God. Because that is why I was created. Because God’s voice is so much more powerful and so much more true and so much more worthy than any of the voices of the someone elses. And for that, I will continue to give everything in me.
I don’t know where I’ll be ordained.
I don’t know where I will live next year or work next year or worship next year.
I don’t know how long it’ll take for my heart to be healed of these very deep wounds, from the people who voted this terrible plan in place and from all of the people with non-affirming theologies who tried to tell me this will all be okay.
I don’t know how to best care for my LGBTQ+ siblings who are also tremendously hurt right now.
I don’t know what God is going to do with the United Methodist Church.
All I know is that I am loved. I am enough. And I am called. Just as I am. Someone else’s decision can not change that.

3 thoughts on “Someone Else’s Decision

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  1. Kelly, I am just seeing and reading this on February 28 at 1:14. As I have repeatedly told you, God gave you gifts…that would be plural…GIFTS! You have many. HE did not give them to you for you NOT to use. Your words are powerful…POWERFUL..because they are from the depths of your soul. God makes us all like He made the snowflakes…no two exactly alike. How special is that? In all the world, there is nobody exactly like any other, not even identical twins. I do not fully understand all of our differences, I freely admit that. But I can say that you are my friend.
    I have watched your walk as an intern at our church, and you could not have done a better job than you did with everything you did! I look around me, and I hardly understand much of anything anymore. This one thing I do know: God made all of us, and He loves all of us. He invites everyone to His table. I also believe that God has a plan for each life He creates. God has a plan for you. As closely as you walk with Him and as much as you rely on Him, He is going to direct your path. Whatever that path is, wherever it leads, you and I both know, you will NOT be walking it alone. HE WILL BE WITH YOU. His words will ring clear in your mind and in your heart: “I will never leave nor abandon you.” Perhaps, through your walk, your faithfulness, your courage to stand up for yourself and others, those “someone elses” will see what a treasure you are to the God who created you, the God whom you serve, and to all of us who also call you a “treasure.” Fletch Leslie


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