Monday, March 13, 2006

On Not Waiting Any Longer

"Wait has almost always meant never."--Martin Luther King, Jr. writing about the non-violent protests for civil rights in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" 1963.

I have been serving at my small rural church since June 2005. It is time for the church to state its formal declaration of being an Open and Affirming Church. We are at a cross roads --not a bad place for a Christian Church to be, but not an easy place.

For months, I have suspected that as an openly lesbian pastor in a town of 800 I was a topic of conversation at the bank and at the post-office. I discovered from one of the members of my church that it is not just the bank and the post-office, but the local bingo nights, the lodge meetings, the local schools.

I have suggested that the church now enter the conversation in a solid way; that it begin to whisper a little louder (to speak, really) that it has taken this courageous stand to accept lesbian and gay persons into all aspects of church membership and leadership by registering itself as an Open and Affirming church, I have begun to hear that most dreaded word: "Wait."

The first thing that came to mind was King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail."
There is never a "right" or "good" time for social justice. Now is the time. I am not without compassion for the struggle that this has been and continues to be for the members of my church, and for the town itself. But the time is now. I have let the church know that I will not renew my contract in the event that the church decides it cannot stand openly for the good news that God calls all persons seeking a closer relationship with God into covenant and has promised abundant life through Jesus the Christ.

The next sixty days will be tense, while this congregation wrestles with its fear and its courage, while it discerns the call of Christ to be the church. Please hold me and my congregation in prayer.


Blogger Sophia said...

I've been following your story on your blog.

Just wondering how it's going.

Have a Happy Easter!

10:38 AM


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