Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You

I am off to the Believing Out Loud conference in Austin this afternoon with Integrity, the LGBT organization in TEC. I have never really considered myself a part of “The Movement” because I have never really seen myself as part “The Life.” (Whatever that means.)

Having people sort you out as to what you are sexually is so tiresome. Like so many people my age, that part of my life has been gone so long that it seems weird that people get so exercised because I am lesbian. I have never been a girly-girl. I do take great pride of being the best half-back in my all –boy neighborhood when I was growing up. I do prefer watching the Cowboys play to Better Homes and Gardens channel. And as I told my bishop “I don’t pass for straight well.”

All that said. I would say that sex—that is, the act of having sexual excitement/pleasure, occupies such a miniscule particle of my life that to find that as a reason why I am allowed or not allowed to do things in the name of Jesus is ludicrous. And for the most of my life this has been true. Granted, at one point when I was young, I was as hormonally determined as any youth, but as an adult….? Get real!

So what does it mean for me to go to an Integrity conference? It does mean being with other LGBT folk. It means being with others who think like I do about the issue of full-inclusion in Christ’s Church. But most of them live their lives quite differently from me. It means seeing friends I have known throughout my career and it means meeting friends I have met only on-line.

It also means that I still have faith in this crazy Church of ours that we can be about sharing Christ with others who seem different or odd or “queer”, to coin a phrase. It says that the God I have faith in calls me each day to expanding my horizons and pushing this mortal envelope to wonderful and even outrageous dimensions. And I thank God everyday that God does that. It keeps me from becoming stagnant or dried up and one of those seniors who complains all the time.

I still do not know where the Church is going. And that disturbs me. This Emergent Age is leaving me without the normal signposts of familiarity. But as long as there are people who are willing to share their love for God, I want to be there. I can be about the vocation that God has called me to---to confirm the joy that God makes present in one another. How that is going to be configured, remains to be seen. So I go to new things, experience stuff I have never experienced (no bungy-jumping or hang-gliding, thank you)  to open me to new loves and prepare to learn to walk all over again. Alleluia, he is risen!


Kirkepiscatoid said...

Well, if it's any consolation, I get tired of having to explain I am straight.

I recently donated to one of my friends' efforts in a walk-a-thon (he's gay) and in his thank you note, he wrote "I can always count on my gay and lesbian friends."

At first I thought, "What? You thought...????"

Then I thought, "Aw, screw it. If he wants to think I'm a lesbian let him. It's not like I want to date him...or could...and maybe that is the trick. If I mean what I say about no longer caring what someone else "is," maybe I need to no longer care what others think I "am."

Mary Beth said...

I'm jumping up and down over here. Thanks be to God! :)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

How wonderfully exciting. Just b/c you are retired doesn't mean your brain - or libido - dies. Good for you. Will look forward to a full report.

Mompriest said...

Just finished a conference looking at the words we use to talk to one another about one another as well as the words we use for God...with much sensitivity about it all in order to realize the expansiveness of who God is and how that God lives in and through us. I hope your conference goes well.