Friday, August 21, 2009

Thoughts on the ELCA vote

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) passed resolutions today committing itself to finding ways to allow churches to "recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable" committed same-gender relationships and also to allow those in committed same-gender relationships to serve as rostered church leaders.

I want to cheer, but I also feel sorry for those to whom this decision brings feelings of pain and abandonment. Believe me, I understand those feelings. I felt them when I signed papers removing myself from the roster because I chose to be true to my life, my partner, and my congregation rather than to lie.

I could have lied. I could have stayed in the church. But what kind of witness was that? It was in being true to the person that I was created to be that I found happiness and life. Not just biological life, but life as a person. I have never regretted my choices, I have only regretted others' reactions to those choices.

Now comes the choice: Do I stay or do I go. Actually, I have already made my choice. I want to return to the ELCA. I feel like I am being ungrateful for wanting to bail, but I have never felt like the Episcopal Church was my home. I appreciate that the ECUSA helped me when I felt abandoned, but I am afraid that I would become resentful by staying.

I pray that the people who are threatening to bail will not. I pray that they may see that God could be moving in a way they are not seeing. Just because we cannot see the hand of God does not mean it is not there. I wish they would stay and add their voice - not stridently screaming - but a voice of challenge.

This opens a whole new chapter. I don't know what is going to happen, only God knows. But a new beginning is underway.


Urspo said...

God only knows; so we will trust it is in good hands, I hope.

Lemuel said...

There is still a tough road ahead for all concerned, but I thought about you *so* very often as this issue came to a vote - about your decisions to be true to yourself, about the cost of those decisions to you, and about how this vote might affect your future. I support you in whatever path the Spirit leads you - to stay or to return. As one who attends a congregation of the ELCA (although not a member), I know the battle is not done. Best wishes to you as you work through this decision.