Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Love/hate relationship with the church

I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with the Methodist Church.

A quote I recently heard was "if you fall in love with the system you loose the capacity to change it." I agree. There is so much about the church I love but also so much hate I wish I could change. I don't think I could ever leave the UMC. I have so many connections with people that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for church. I can pretty much go anywhere to a church function and either have a friend there or have a friend of a friend to meet. The church is like a big awkward family. We might not always get along but we care for each other in times of need.

I hate the actions taken by the church we currently live with/in on certain topics. I believe we need to understand that we must  change our actions against the LGBTQ community. The church has done harm to them and their family and friends. I'm sorry for what the UMC has done. I also think we need to recognize the young people both lay and clergy. The church needs us or its going to die. The young people are the now, not just the future of the church. The church must want the young people in order to continue to grow.

Derek Webb has some song lyrics from the song I Love/Hate You that currently reflect my relationship with the church:
But your love is a noose around my neck
I give up and I know I will regret it
You love is a weight around my legs
But I don't know who I am unless you're holding me

I love the church so much that if I give up on the future of the church I know I will regret it deeply. I will regret not doing the things that need to be done in order for the church to move forward into our current time period. I'm stuck in the church because I don't where I would be without it. So many pastors, bishops, and laity have helped me become who I am today. The church is a part of me and the church needs me to continue to flouish and grow. 

Why do you love/hate the church?

What can we do to change the hate? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ding Dong DOMA's Dead!

In recent weeks, social justice has been taking a turn in favor of the LGBTQ community. This is great news, but what does it mean for the United Methodist Church?

First and foremost pastors in the UMC get to choose which couples they want to marry. This means they can perform a marriage ceremony for whomever they want. If a pastor doesn’t want to marry a couple, they do not have to, whether that be a heterosexual or homosexual  couples. Secondly, state rules are important when getting married.  If a state declares LGBTQ marriage legitimate, a pastor can perform the marriage ceremony, if they so choose to defy UMC church law.

The tagline of the United Methodist Church is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”. Now that DOMA has been struck down, our tagline seems partially closed off.  Christians are always talking about practicing what we preach, but if our hearts, minds, and doors were really open, we wouldn’t be turning people away from our churches. The people who have been turned away from our churches have seen the harm that has been done by being exclusive.  The current generation of young people want the church to be accepting of all people; we do not see the need to hate anyone. After all, love is love.

There are various steps we can take as the Church to be more inclusive to the LGBTQ community. We need to apologize to those who have been hurt by or turned away from the church. Most United Methodists are accepting of people for who they are, no matter what. In addition, the church is a place for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity. After all, the church is a hospital of sinners, rather than a museum for saints. Lastly, it takes each of us to make a difference. One person’s words or actions can help spark change in the atmosphere to make the United Methodist Church as great as it possibly can be.  

-Joint Post by Caitlin and Amy