Faith, Agency, Courage, and Resistance
What Counts as "Traditional"...
“Suffering and Death do not have the last word. Jesus has/is the Last word! And these are words of faith, agency, courage, and resistance.”
This meditation was first written and recorded by Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, and produced by Rev. Jim Keat for the podcast Be Still and Go: meditations for the movement, a digital ministry of Riverside Church in New York City.
“The debates and decisions made at the recent special session of General Conference in St. Louis have further highlighted deep seated divisions within the United Methodist connection… As an historian, I offer here a few observations about the language being used in connection with The Traditional Plan.”
Reckoning: Hope, Prayer, Plea...
In the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and excruciatingly long seconds leading up to the special session of General Conference for the United Methodist Church-this may come as a surprise to some of you— but as an emotional, feel all things viscerally, kind of person- I was filled with all the feels.
Hope, determination, grief, anger, defeat, anxiety, excitement.
I’m still in that space…
"Even The Dogs Get Crumbs..."
… if you’re (and I’m talking especially to the straight white moderates and progressives in Iowa who thought the One Church Plan would save us, now, because y’all are who I’ve returned to) struggling to sit with the truth of the UMC’s hateful violence against LGBTQ people, and the entrenched racism and colonialism, please keep paying attention and don’t rush to plans that will make you feel better. it hurts, doesn’t it? my oh my oh my, it hurts. feel some of this violence in your bones. remember that it’s not even being directed at your being. remember you’re only feeling a tiny fraction. welcome. if you stick with it, there’s a chance for solidarity to become. this possible reckoning is what gives me hope for a faithful church that could emerge…
…But even as an advocate, the questions being raised are welcome ones. Because as poet Andrea Gibson has said, “even the truth isn’t hopeful, the telling of it is.”
People are rightfully asking…
I have been wanting to write something to reflect on the upcoming General Conference, but for a long time, I simply could not (a rare state for me as a biblical scholar, teacher, and minister). I have been too consumed with anger and hurt as I have contemplated how much people who call themselves friends would be willing to hurt LGBTQ persons, such as myself, for the sake of so-called “church unity.”
I realized that the issue is not degree of potential harm. I, and my queer kin, have already been hurt…
It’s too late for me. And it might be too late for many others. But it’s not too late for the young queer people growing up across the globe who need to hear “God loves you, no matter what!”
Not With Interest of Debate...
a hard and honest truth: the only things I know for sure about the upcoming General Conference, the only personal plan I have, my mantra, and prayer, and offering: It hurts. I will have snacks to share. Stay tender.
a hard and honest truth: tenderness, dear ones, is so very hard when our lives and loves and livelihoods are under attack, on the line, up for debate, up for vote…
Reclaiming Our Methodist Roots with The Simple Plan
Not with interest of debate, not even with interest to persuade, but simply to share my own perspective because it’s been asked:
Why I support the Simple Plan and do not support the One Church Plan for the February 23-26 global gathering to discuss and vote on the UMC’s proclamation on queer lives and loves…
On Keeping Covenants and Loving Children
One of the reasons I fell in love with Methodism is the radically different way in which the movement was founded and rose to prominence. I know many of you feel the same way. It's no secret that we've strayed far from the path. I see The Simple Plan, not a radical move in a new direction, but rather a radical move back towards our roots.
They Would Destroy the Rest of the Institution...
… My beloved son is certainly a child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, truly gifted, and he is gay. He doesn’t trust the church. While our bishop today is very gracious, there is no telling what the theology of our next bishop will be. While his mother’s church is very welcoming, not all churches in the denomination are, and there are no guarantees that he will be welcome. Our denomination’s churches are like a minefield: we never know if our next step into a sanctuary will reward us with safety or if we will be irreparably damaged…
The premise of the document is that the church is too divided theologically to be viable; we have two wholly different views on everything from the authority of Scripture to the understanding of social holiness. It can’t be held together.
Given that analysis, what this memo really reveals…