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.