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.