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What are We Against?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 17:13 ET

Life Light Up

I went to church this morning. I’ve been dabbling in going to church for a few years but it’s hard for me to find a place that I’m comfortable. I think part of the reason is that most people go to church as a family. That really came into focus for me when I saw that this church (which is for most intents and purposes new to me) offers counseling for “being single.” It even sounds strange to me as I write it now, but this morning I thought, “hmmm, yeah, that’s interesting.” The idea of being a single parishioner is all well and good, but actually showing up at the sanctuary by yourself is something else entirely.

The other challenge, of course, is finding a Christian community that’s inclusive for gays and lesbians. As I reach out into the community as a whole, I’m finding that my sexuality is once again much more “out there” (pardon the pun) than I would otherwise make it. I don’t want to go to a church that has pride flags in the sanctuary (that’s not what church is about). At the same time, I can’t be an active part of a congregation if I can’t tell people that I’m an artistic leader of the Orlando Gay Chorus.

This weekend, I’m pleased to say, there is increasing hope that the Church is coming around. On Friday, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted by at 66% margin to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy. The final decision is still up to individual congregations (as it should be) but the margin of approval among the church’s leadership, I think, is a fantastic sign.

The part of the article was the quote by one of the pastors: “We can learn not to define ourselves by negation, by not only saying what we are against….” This really rings true for me. Jesus didn’t spend so much time talking about what He was against. He spent a whole lifetime preaching about what He was for: love. I’m not sure yet, but I’d like to see if I can find a church that embraces this principle. The sermon this morning gave me a lot of hope.

In the past week I’ve also discovered a new song that pretty much sums it up.

Brothers, let us come together
Walking in the Spirit, there’s much to be done
We will come reaching, out from our comforts
And they will know us by our love

Sisters, we were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us
We will come reaching, with a song of healing
And they will know us by our love!

The time is now, come church arise
Love with His hands, see with His eyes
Bind it around you, let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

Children, you are hope for justice
Stand firm in the truth now, set your hearts above
You will be reaching, long after we’re gone
And they will know you by your love!

The time is now, come church arise
Love with His hands, see with His eyes
Bind it around you, let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

“By Our Love”
Christy Nockels
Life Light Up
© 2009 Sparrow Records / sixsteprecords

Filed under: Spirituality and Faith

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mindi  |  August 23rd, 2009 at 21:33 ET

    I’m glad to hear the ELCA is taking its head out of the sand regarding the gay and lesbian community. To me, Jesus was always pretty clear on how we should treat each other and I think the ELCA (speaking as a lifetime member of that particular denomination) should be setting a better example.

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