I am far from home.
Today I was keenly hungry for worship in a United Methodist Church. Knowing that in my home church and in all United Methodist Churches across this world those who were struggling with the General Conference decision would be gathering, I wanted to be in solidarity.
And I needed a good word shared in the midst of connection.
Here is what I heard. I heard a brief note during ain’t-life-swell announcements about the General Conference and an acknowledgment that there were lots of opinions about the General Conference vote and, hey, people are always welcome at that church. Those of us gathered were assured that was so.
Do not speak of welcome for all as though it is happening, truly, when baptized and called children of God are not welcome to preach or marry or be fully folded into community and you are not outraged.
There was no naming of pain. There was no seeming awareness that fluffing over injustice is to condone and perpetrate it.
None. Of. That.
I wanted to leave.
But in the front of the sanctuary was a table with the bread and cup on it and I had come so hungry and I was aware that this deep grief I was experiencing is part of the world I love and so I stayed because I so needed to be fed.
I stayed and prayed for Christ UMC and for all the churches who are doing hard soul and heart and advocacy work on this day. I stayed and tried to keep my heart soft toward the pastor who never once addressed the issue in his sermon. I stayed knowing that there are people who come to the church I serve who feel like they want to leave because of what I do or do not say.
And, I left hungry.
May we create communities through which tears and hungers and delights and questions and insistence upon the sacred beauty of each is celebrated.
No one is fully welcomed unless all are fully welcomed.