2019: A Future Queer Church?
We are not alone!
Being queer and Christian is perhaps one of the most isolating combination of words in the world. I can only beat it by being queer, Christian, and a pastor all at the same time. While it is healthy to commiserate in our feelings, while we seek connection and acceptance, it is more important that those of us living in this mutual identity - this community - do something with it.
I have been plagued by the statistics and dire predictions that inform me routinely that the Church is dying. I don't mind the "Church" dying, if it means that we are a more nimble, responsive, and loving within and outside our community as a result. However, I do have deep emotional ties that I want to hold together within the "church", or the individuals, families, and people with whom I hold great affection within the buildings that we, also, regrettably call the Church. I get it; it's confusing.
The wondrous, missed opportunity in the Church dying is that queer people have so much to add to and empower this specific type of community. Whenever and wherever queer people -regardless of religion - gather, I always find fun, joy, comradery, and engagement. Sure, there can be isolation there, too, but, in general, I have been able to walk into a gay bar anywhere in the world, and at least catch one laugh or see something wonderful, and 100% of the time I have felt safe.
These are things that we have to offer both within our community and outside of it. So, why die?!? Why not change? At MCC of the Rockies this week, we heard a message from Revelation 21, where the revelation was that God through Jesus has given us a New Heaven and a New Each - metaphorically speaking. In other words, the body or creation was the same, but the spirit living within it was dramatically changed.
This is my hope and prayer for MCCR moving into 2019 that it, and its sister churches, will be radically changed from the inside, that we will be so engaged and inspired from within our hearts and love for one another that we cannot help but offer community to anyone who needs it. After all, we've spent so much time being the outsiders, the marginalized, or the isolated that it only goes that we would be the experts in knowing how to live with people who are frayed and hurt, or alone.
And so, I call for leaders. I call for people who want to try new things; who are willing to think differently; advocate for something that we have done before, but could do better; or, just want to meet and love anyone who comes through our door. Are you this person?
We are not alone! Even if something that we love is dying. God promises to still be with us, and I promise to hold on for as long as I can. Join me, sister. Join me, brother. Join me, other. You are loved!