Year A - Pentecost +6 or Community Practice 6
July 20, 2014
Yesterday there was to have been a meeting hosted by the leadership of The United Methodist Church’s Connectional Table and the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops that invited 3 groups advocating for a release of mission and ministry in The United Methodist Church by removing the fearful language that categorically discriminates against LGBTQ United Methodists and 3 groups attempting to maintain and strengthen the current restrictive legislation. Additionally there was 1 group invited that represents the 100 largest United Methodist congregations.
The result was that the only the first 3 groups arrived (Love Prevails, Methodist Federation for Social Action, and Reconciling Ministries Network).
The agenda was pitiful and still was tried to be carried out when less than half of the invitees bothered to show up and they were all folks who had had to gird their loins to be present, one more time in the face of those who desire their exile and will go to any lengths to achieve purity at the expense of another’s very life.
If you want to focus on groaning currently going on, that can be done at quite a distance with news about shooting down a public airliner or a ground invasion of Gaza. For those in The United Methodist Church, it will be important to attend to your groaning sisters and brothers and a variety of gender identities lest your concern for those far away is undercut by your lack of concern for those near by. In other situations the undercutting would go the other way, but today, in The United Methodist Church, the delay in honoring our baptized LGBTQ siblings affects every part of the denomination.
Join the groaning that there is so much trickle-down fear and cowardice from church leadership and the need is so great for trickle-up courage from everyday folk. Attend to this video report after the above fiasco of a meeting where absence was yet another face and form of violence.
Then you might appreciate this reflection by on the video report by Jeanne Knepper, one of many LGBTQ saints, that speaks to a watchful and waiting hope:
Trickle up, trickle through, trickle, trickle moves the water as it undercuts, as it undermines, as it overwhelms the dam, the damn dam. And when the water gushes through, when the Spirit flows, the dam believers will wonder, "Why didn't we see this coming??" Because, fearful friends, you were afraid to go near the water, the water of Life, offered so very freely, for so many years. Love Prevails.