you know love wins, right?

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).

0 thoughts on “you know love wins, right?

  1. the thing is god knows you are amazing. your heart is made of gold. you are one the most inspirational, understanding, motivational, people i have ever known. i am sorry some people get the message confused. you were put here to create change. never give up! with people in the world like you in lena, i have faith. LOVE WILL WIN!
    i am so proud of you.
    love you both.

    1. now i am crying. you blow me away with your words, sis. thank you! I LOVE YOU! WE LOVE Y’ALL!!!!

  2. Today’s debates actually made me cry. I’m sooooo sorry that the votes didn’t pass. And I’m sooooo sorry that our United Methodist Church is so broken. Thank you for sharing your love and hope. It’s so hard for me right now to be cynical and pessimistic. But the fact that you’ve been able to keep loving the church that is excluding you this long gives me the faith to hang on longer in this church that is making such hurtful decisions. It will change. Someday. We’ve changed our minds on the other big issues of human rights… slavery, segregation, women’s rights… why does the church always start out on the wrong side?

    1. it is so disheartening and frustrating… sometimes i really want to leave. i mean, it would be easy, since i can’t be “in” anyway. but, i’m holding on because i know things will change. been thinking of you a lot & hoping that your experience was amazing (even with all the crap).

  3. **Oops… It’s so hard for me right now NOT to be cynical and pessimistic.

  4. I am so sorry that your church chose the easy way out, which doesn’t involve change in views and ways of thinking, instead of the way forward. Changing one’s views is a process that involves courage and bravery and requires to go past the personal phobias and short confines of arbitrary rules created by bigoted and various -phobic views.

    You know I am not religious but you also know I live showing respect for everyone’s views and beliefs, encouraging the free exchange of ideas between different belief systems. Looking at this issue from the point of view of a man-made church, means you are still excluded from their internal structures. However I look at it from a different point of view. The view of a free human being who has chosen to live true who she is, spreading love and encouragement everywhere in her life. From this point of view, human-made structures and rules loose their coherence and their significance. The pure spiritual view is that you have not done anything wrong and you are being punished for who you chose to be. And yet you still are dignified and you still love them and you still try to change their views and that in my eyes makes you grand and bigger that the sum of all the small people locked into dusty and webbed views afraid of change and afraid of opening up to other human beings, scared that maybe they’ll have to modify the way they see the world. What they do is try to shape the world around them in order to fit their small views, an impossible feat, whereas you are open and you changed yourself to fit the world around you.

    This is not your defeat Liz, it’s their defeat and truly I feel sorry for them and I remember what kept me away from organised church since my teenage years. This is a temporary setback because I know you’ll keep trying to change their views and eventually common sense will prevail and maybe a newer generation will start looking at how things actually are and accepting more open and liberal views. You stand as a grand example on how they should lead their lives and the fact that they cannot see it is utterly saddening but not very surprising.

    Keep being yourself and eventually your example will serve as a way of change in their views. Don’t get discouraged and keep smiling.

    1. Natalie, I’m at a loss for words. What you have written is beautiful, just beautiful. And so true. Thank you for offering a different perspective, and for reminding me about my free choices and my desire to live true to myself, in that way, i am free. You are so kind and so very thoughtful. Your words, your comments, your thoughts & opinions are a blessing to me! Thank you!

  5. I think Natalie is right that the newer generation will make this change happen. I am so sad for you (and all of us) that it didn’t happen today! Thank you Liz for your courage and voice. I am sorry today is not a day of celebrating the victory of love.

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