Most Sunday mornings, I end up standing at the back of New City’s worship space. I welcome people who come in after worship has started. I make sure the door stays slightly ajar because it locks automatically if pulled all the way shut. From this vantage point, I can see and count who is in the room (at least when everyone is seated, otherwise I’m too short to see much of anything). From this vantage point, I get to watch as people who may have no experience of church or have traumatic experience of church are welcomed into a community in which collective healing and liberation are practiced…Read More
An announcement, a decision, a plea:
Dear ones, the etymological root of “decision” is traced to “cut.” Decisions cut off some possibilities, in order to enable other possibilities to become. Loss, sharp and inevitable, results from our decisions and indecisions, our actions and inactions. So does the invitation into new life.Read More
While I must, in full disclosure, admit that the recent Judicial Council decision was not an unknown inevitable, 1378 still radiates and prinks the entirety of my being. Decision 1378 leads me to reflect on the biblical image of the threshing floor. In the predominate historical narrative of The UMC, disinherited communities and bodies are (in many ways) symbolic of the floor, that which is trampled on and used as a means for something else to thrive…Read More
The Judicial Council put the final nail in the coffin of the United Methodist Church (UMC). Their ruling allowed many of the Traditional Plan’s most discriminatory and punitive measures to remain in the Book of Discipline (BoD) thereby exacerbating the assaults on LGBTQIA+ people and further empowering agents of harm…Read More
“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.Read More
“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.”Read More
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…Read More
… 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…Read More
…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…Read More
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…Read More
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!”Read More
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…Read More