Today, my heart cries for my United Methodist LGTBQIA brothers and sisters. While sitting in the bleachers at the St. Louis dome, I noticed that my whole body was trembling uncontrollably. I could not understand what was going on with my own body, all I could do was look up and silently pray. Pleading with the Holy Spirit to invade our space, invade our minds and to especially invade our shattered hearts. I witnessed delegates from around the world vote 438 to 384 to pass the Traditional Plan, which maintains the Scriptural teaching that sexual relationships are to be reserved for the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman; as well as ordaining LGBTQIA ordination.
Please excuse me if I seem to be very quiet. It is not that I am not wanting to engage, I just don’t feel comfortable speaking on things that I am not quite sure of. I truly appreciate the Class Covenant that we share, especially when it comes to providing a safe and brave place for each of us. Though I am a woman of few words, there is fiery stirring and burning deep inside my soul. I grew up with a very traditional family and culture and that is all I ever knew. However, once I became a student at PSR and joined our beloved community, I am discovering how tremendous and great our God is.
I unintentionally fell in love with my PSR family and colleagues. I have had deep and meaningful conversations with clergy and pastors in the making from the LGTBQIA community. I see their hurt and fears, as they see mine. They have always been gentle with me and I hope I am the same with them. Thank you for your patience as I learn to adapt to the new life that Christ has given me. I witness my new LGTBQIA friends and colleagues serve the Lord with love and compassion all around me. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is using them as He is using a sinner such as me.
I thank God that He willed for me to join the inclusive community of PSR. I have expanded my understanding and perspective of who my Heavenly Father truly is. A Father God that desires a desperate relationship with all His creation, all His children. It is such a love tragedy because it is not as easy as it sounds. I am truly grateful to be a part of this immersion trip, to immerse myself in a world new and unknown to me. Thank you to my professor and colleagues for allowing me to be a part of this intense and historic event. Thank you for being patient and understanding of me as I continue to grow and cultivate in discipleship with all people.
As I walked outside of the convention center to get some sun and reflection from all of the commotion around me. I couldn’t help but immerse myself with hurting strangers who became my dear friends. My hope for the body of Christ is that we fold into our churches all people, regardless of who they are, and surround them with a bigger vision of life and love and relationships that make it possible for them to flourish in the body of Christ.