16 June 2005

My Congregation Retreats From BGLT Social Justice Work

My congregation is putting our earlier social justice study and discernment efforts surrounding homophobia and heterosexism on hold.

The report describing these events can be downloaded here (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).


redlami said...

I find some of the arguments very interesting. Many of them seem to boil down to "we're already doing this, but we don't want to shout that we're doing this or everyone will know we're doing this." Admittedly I live in the northeast, where the idea of taking 4 years to decide the time wasn't right, or that the resolution isn't necessary, would be almost comical. But I've been involved in church conflict and I know how polarized the atmosphere can become to the point where the issue itself is secondary to the concept of winning the battle.

Also, I think it may be risky for a congregation to pin its hopes on a new minister to settle the issue. If the new minister has a stance it will alienate a committed portion of the congregation; if not, the new minister will seem indecisive and weak. I'd think that the ability to resolve an issue like this would make a congregation much more attractive to a candidate.

I wish you the best of luck and hope your congregation finds peace.

Katharine said...

Oh, Steve, I'm so sorry to hear what's happening in your church.

My church is nowhere near ready to consider whether to become a welcoming church. I organized a worship service on justice and diversity last October, and so many people enjoyed it then. Now, I'm being told of comments to the effect that we "focus on the gay issue" too much.

It makes me so sad to see God's people so scared of one another.

Steve Caldwell said...

Right now, I'm weighing the costs and benefits of staying vs going. There's a bi-gay-lesbian-trans friendly congregation 1 hour from my home (I co-taught the UUA's adult sexuality education program in that congregation a few years ago ... they are a very friendly bunch).

I really enjoying working with children and youth, including my own. But the relationship between me and the congregation makes staying at All Souls feel like I'm staying in a harmful marriage "for the kids" while my needs are going unmet.