today is the day.
today the united methodist church will vote once again on their stance/beliefs on homosexuality and the church. it’s something that has been voted on every 4 years for the past 40 years. and throughout all 40 years, the vote has been to continually not offer the same kind of grace & love to all people that God offers to all. in this, the church has failed. again and again. so, what will happen today in tampa at the conference? what will the vote be? will there be movement forward? will there be change? or will there be a continued discrimination?
will i remain an untouchable when it comes to ordination in the church that i love?
will the church continue to say to me, “if you had stayed in your unhealthy marriage, suffocating yourself, and refusing to be used to the fullest, then you would have been ordained by now. but, since you chose to listen to your soul, heal your life, and happened to fall in love with & marry a woman AND told us about it, then nevermind. ordination is not possible for you any longer.”
how long will i (and many others) hear those words that separate us and ignore the gifts & talents that we have to offer? how freaking long? 40 more years?
sadly, i don’t have much hope today. especially after hearing about the vote that took place on tuesday. it was over a theological belief. the delegates were voting whether to accept this statement or not:
“We affirm our unity in Jesus Christ while acknowledging differences in applying our faith in different cultural contexts as we live out the Gospel. We stand united in declaring our faith that God’s love is available to all, that nothing can separate us from the love of God.”
it was a statement of agreeing to disagree, of understanding that there are different ways of living out faith because there are different cultures that are all a part of the UMC… since it’s a global, connected church. is was a statement that acknowledged that what unites us is more important than what divides us. it was a statement to focus on our similiarities (because ALL people are loved & accepted as they are), instead of our differences. something that was a foundational belief for the founder of the UMC, john wesley. in his sermon, “catholic spirit”, wesley says “If your heart is right, then give me your hand.” this is the spirit of tolerance, grace, and acceptance that the UMC was built upon. it was not necessary for all to have the same opinions, according to wesley. the longer quote is this:
“Let all these smaller points stand aside. Let them never come into sight. “If thine heart is as my heart,” if thou lovest God and all mankind, I ask no more; “Give me thine hand.”
sounds to me like the statement above is a 21st century version of what wesley said in the 1700s. so, how did the vote go? well, they voted to accept the statement. yep. that’s good. but… only 53% of the voters agreed. so, it passed, but that means that 47% disagreed with this very basic statement that God’s love is available for all.. that nothing can separate us. that it’s not actually about what we do, we cannot earn love, but that love is truly available to everyone.
so, that’s why i’m worried about today’s vote on homosexuality. if we can’t even agree that love is given to all, that all people are worthy, then how the hell are we (they) going to vote to accept all people? ugh. i’m heartbroken. and distraught, even before the voting begins.
i am nervous. yet, i have hope. and i believe. even if things do not go the way i wish today, i know that in the end… someday… love will win. love does win. because love, well, that’s what life is all about. and if the UMC does not want me to proclaim that Love as an ordained minister, then so be it. i will, i have, and i am declaring that Love in the best way i can. every day of my life. ordained or not.
God, Love, is bigger than the united methodist church.
peace to all (and i mean all – even those with whom i disagree).