For the past four days the queer community within the United Methodist Church and at large watched as the special called General Conference unfolded.
We listened as our bodies, minds and spiritual callings from God to live, breathe and participate in ministry was called into question. We listened to the same old debates with ignorant points of view on Biblical inerrancy and a reminder how we are forever practicing our homosexual ways. And in result we were told that the Church has “always been against us,” which we know from the likes of J.J. Warren (@itsmejjwarren) and more that is far from the truth.
I wept with this decision to approve the Traditional Plan, which allows further harm to LGBTQ siblings within the UMC.
I wept when I saw things like this:
All in all, I am still processing the after effects of such an oppressive decision.
I don’t want to give more elevation to the harm that unfolded at the GC2019. What I do want to do is say to grieve. In whatever way feels best to you, grieve.
Something I’ve seen unfold over the last few hours since yesterday’s vote is other churches, dominations and friends doing what they feel is best – inviting the displaced into their home. But, friends be aware that is your home and although I know your intention is to showcase how your home is everyone’s ( as the Church is) but first let our UMC siblings grieve their tremendous losses and blows to their precious home.
Do not be so quick to negate the power of grief because joy lives there too and Jesus is at work here.
I lovingly suggest to our affirming churches, dominations and friends in this work of connection to sit a while. Ask how you can listen, hold or pray for our UMC siblings. Because we, as a global Church, do a really good job at pushing our emotions away and emotions are holy. They are valid and needed in order to hear the next movement and – sometimes – move at all.
You saying to another “come to our welcoming church” could very well be triggering to the welcoming congregation and domination they thought they were already a part of.
The UMC was home to the many & home is a precious place.
Grief is here and now for our friends who are processing the General Conference’s loud and clear attempt to silence our #faithfullyLGBT family – we need to make space for emotion.
Before inviting in those hurt by this decision to your space – go outward to our friends homes & sit in that grey area — joy lives there too. And, it’s needed.
If you want to help – be the ear; the shoulder – not the building. Not just yet.
To my UMC siblings,
I love you so much. I wish I could hold all of you in my arms. I’ve been crying, praying & hurting – but none of that work – can compare to what you’re experiencing personally. Your bodies, spirits, minds & personhood is holy & a divine creation from God. I am with you. I will continue to fight with you. And I hold you in my spirit. I wish I could hold you tight in person. But know the space is being held here in my person. I love you all. We are still here. We are a part of God’s beautiful design – we are a part of what comprises humanity – we most certainly matter
The table has already been set for you. Christ is in love with you as you are and the Church is already queer.
And, to add where this response comes from personally:
I honestly can say I have no idea where I fall domination wise. More & more I find dominations to be institutional systems of oppression. I write this realizing this happens outside of a closed system, but I am navigating what to do with my wandering body & spirit because I still do not have a space I call home. So, I feel this on such a deep level.
When I left my non affirming Church to seek healing so many said “come here” and negated my grief and didn’t really cultivate community with me — but more weight lifting, more talking and more ppl to know – I needed comfort. And, if I had the words for it I would have asked. So, for me, I cringe when I read this on feeds right now. I know it’s with such good intent too, I do. And, by no means in sharing this do I say I fully understand each individuals reactions within the UMC — but I know this grief.