Earlier this week Margaret Aymer eloquently responded to the “deathly ill” letter written by a group of ministers calling themselves The Fellowship PC(USA). “How we got to this place is less important than how to move forward ”, the “deathly ill” letter stated. Aymer made clear we cannot gloss over the story of how we got to this place.
This particular response is simply one experience, one perspective after 22 years of ministry. To gloss over how we got to this place, implies The Fellowship (USA) is unwilling to confess their participation in our common story of decline and dissension, but maintain their eagerness to move us forward with their plan.
Before any of us move forward, we must have the courage to corporately confess our brokenness. We must have faith enough to claim that not one of us in this denomination finds pleasure in the “place” we find ourselves.
So I will use this space to voice my confession.
I remained silent for 22 years of my ordained ministry failing to speak for justice on behalf of our GLBT sisters and brothers in the pulpit and on the floor of presbytery. Instead, I paid more attention to the words of anger and threat than to the stories of those whose lives we so flippantly debate.
I placed trust in the words of “church growth” experts over and above our common calling from Jesus. I believed larger parking lots, newer buildings, and the offering of target audience programming would save the day. I fear I placed more faith in what I do rather than trusting what God has done and continues to do.
I allowed apathy to settle in believing the decline and dissension of our church was more than God could handle. I have not trusted the hovering of God’s Spirit, nor the power of God’s grace to heal. I have been tempted to sit out the remainder of ministry until my pension kicks in.
I confess my sin trusting Christ, has, is and will make whole what I have helped and allowed to break apart.
Today, I vow to speak. Today I promise to trust God’s doing over and above my doing. Today I acknowledge God’s hovering and grace to heal.
Today I invite others to join me. Let us speak our words of brokenness. Let us trust God to lead us through the waters of justice, no matter what it costs us. Let us together have hope that God is leading us into a new land of promise.