A few weeks ago, Rev. Maggie Wellert, a local retired Moravian pastor, shared an illustration with our congregation. (Paraphrased here – various versions available online from a variety of sources.) A little boy was awoken by a loud thunderstorm in the middle of the night. He cried out for his father who quickly rushed into the boy’s room. The boy told his father that he was frightened of the storm, and his father said, “But son, remember what you learned in Sunday School?
Christmas is hard for me. I don't mean the holiday. I mean the story. It's hard to wrap my head around it, and I know I'm not alone. It all starts with Jesus' conception. In a society where we constantly have to talk about consent, trying to make it as simple as a cup of tea, how can we be okay with Gabriel coming to tell Mary, "Oh hey, yeah, God's gonna make a baby with you!" Notice that Gabriel doesn't ask. God doesn't ask. To me, this story reads like the high schoo
Luke 1: 26 - 38 (NRSV) 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with
Following the e-mail I sent to many in my congregation last week, I was confronted by another member in church. She was distressed that I had sent such an angry and hateful e-mail to "half of the congregation!" I calmly spoke with her, listening to the pain and fear in her voice as she described the last time our congregation discussed queer issues. A former pastor was asked to resign after performing a same-sex union without permission from the congregation (this was abou
The election happened. The results are real. Once again, the popular vote doesn't matter. Donald Trump will be in the White House. Here's the good news: I'm still breathing. I'm even keeping food down again. This week, I found myself returning to an article from a Presbyterian pastor whose blog I follow religiously (pun intended!): Why Even Progressive Christianity Must Own its Complicity in Anti-LGBT Violence. And I realized that despite being an openly queer Christia
Update: I received some wonderful feedback from a friend of mine that is an important update to this post. Thank you, Brige Mendes for calling me out and helping me learn! As a reminder to my readers, I am not an expert, and I so appreciate feedback like this. I have removed my use of the asterisk but have kept the poster simply to explain what the trans community includes. "I really love this post to but thought you might want to know some of the info is a bit outdated Th
“You’re being too sensitive!” “You have to understand that we didn’t mean anything by it.” “That’s obviously not what we meant.” -- Sound familiar? Too often, these are the responses to any attempt to dismantle systems of oppression. Rather than being open to criticism (even when it is shared in the kindest of manners) and learning from marginalized voices, people immediately become defensive, refusing to believe that they are part of an oppressive system or perhaps that th
This has been an intense week - beginning with the tragic shooting at Pulse in Orlando. I felt so devastated. In my grief, I reached out to my pastor. I asked to have a few minutes to speak on Sunday, to bear witness to the lives lost at Pulse, and to explain how devastating a shooting in a gay nightclub is to my queer family. Her first response was that we just don't have time on Sunday morning: we have too many things going on, and she'd try to cover it in her sermon.