Finally, as I was about to turn off the computer I found this interesting and sad article on queerty.com, regarding a United Methodist gay activist who is speaking out within the circle of faith. As I do this within the Presbyterian Church (USA), I admire the work that Steven Webster writes about in this newspaper essay in the Dallas Morning News:
"I embrace our Wesleyan Christian vision of "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world" and applaud the General Conference for seeking to build unity around four focus areas: 1) developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world; 2) reaching new people in new places by starting new congregations and renewing existing ones; 3) engaging in ministry with the poor; and 4) stamping out killer diseases by improving health globally.
Yet we undercut these same goals when we continue to: 1) reject the gifts and graces of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their allies; 2) turn off a younger generation that views the Christian faith as "anti-homosexual;" 3) push LGBT youth into poverty and homelessness as families reject them because church and society stigmatizes LGBT persons; and 4) fail to address the role that ignorance and stigmatization of homosexuality (and other sexualities) play in the global AIDS epidemic."When working for an institution that brought out a bumper sticker that said something to the effect that they were an "open mind, open heart, open door" community of faith, I realize, in light of the reality of how many LGBT people are denied a job, denied baptism, are denied opportunities to practice their God given gifts--as is true within other denominations and churches as well--that we have a great deal of work ahead of us.
The shortest verse in the New Testament is simply this, echoing what Jesus must feel when looking at the flock (us): "And Jesus wept."
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