“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet… Coincidences are God’s way of getting our attention.” –
Frederick Buechner I was raised in a Christian home and taught that being
gay is a sin. I went to a small private college affiliated with the United Church of Christ, and out of curiosity, enrolled in a class called
“Homosexuality and Civil
Liberties”. We studied the relevant biblical passages and I became convinced that it was not a sin after all. I was so persuaded, in fact, that I felt compelled to contribute to the LGBTQ community through researching biological correlates of same sex attraction for my graduate thesis.
Interestingly, I did not have any gay relatives or friends during that time period. I often struggled to explain the
reason why I had become such a passionate ally. During my thesis defense, a faculty member asked why I was interested in the topic and I mumbled something about the clues my research might provide to better
understanding gender expression in all people. Little did I know, God was preparing me. Ten years later, when my daughter was 15, I discovered that she is a lesbian. I thank God for His grace that becomes most visible in the miraculous way life unfolds to expose ironies, miracles and the subtle preparation for future journeys.
I simply wanted to write to say THANK YOU!For years I have steadily moved farther away from any church affiliation because I just couldn’t believe the hatred that was coming from it.
Religion has changed from the love and compassion Jesus taught, to a hate filled, bigoted and, quite frankly, HELL of a place. Seeing the post in facebook about your organizations ads has made me think that there is hope for religion. Thank you again!
I can’t quite find the words to express how wonderful it was to find out you exist. I don’t live in Oklahoma, but I grew up in a United Methodist church, and left (in part) because I was gay. I turned away from the God of my understanding for many years before I discovered Unitarian Universalism and its message of tolerance toward all.
I’ve got a pretty deep wound about Christianity, but I’ve come to discover that my wound probably is more about how Christianity was practiced around me (and AT me) rather than a “beef” with Jesus himself.
THANK YOU for having the courage to stand up to your bishop and the entire UMC denomination through your message of tolerance and love. If you’re not gay, you really can’t imagine how painful it is to be demonized by religious people, and to know deep down that there’s really nothing wrong with you.
Thanks SO much for your courage!
My daughter, who is a 7th grader, came home two weeks ago with a homework assignment. She was to write and deliver a speech that highlighted a problem she and her peers are facing. She said that most of her classmates were preparing speeches on bullying or alcohol, but she wanted to do a speech titled “Gay is Okay.” Her teacher approved the subject of her speech and she was excited.
She did her research, prepared her speech, and even made a special rainbow outfit to wear the day of the speech. Her father and I were nervous that she would face rejection or bullying, after all, we live in a small, conservative town, in a conservative state. When we picked her up after school, she came bouncing out with a smile on her face. She said that she got a standing ovation after her speech!
The children really are leading us!
I give us this quotation from Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“Let us therefore continue our triumphal march to the realization of the American dream. For all of us today, the battle is in our hands. The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. We are still in for the season of suffering. How long? Not long. Because no lie can live forever. Our God is marching on.” (1965)
Beloved, no lie can live forever. We are all God’s children, perfectly made in God’s image. And I believe the time has come and is now near when the UMC will live out its claim of open hearts, open minds and one doors. Don’t give up! I pledge to stay the course.
Thank You for the large ad in today’s Tulsa World. Many, many of us in UMC want a welcome to be real. We want our sons, daughters, aunts and uncles to have a church home that is HOME for them and us.
Please continue to address this inequality in our church.
Oklahoma Methodists take a stand
Oklahomans for Equality
I give us this quotation from Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Let us therefore continue our triumphal march to the realization of the American dream. For all of us today, the battle is in our hands. The road ahead is not altogether a smooth one. There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. We are still in for the season of suffering. How long? Not long. Because no lie can live forever. Our God is marching on. (1965)
Beloved, no lie can live forever. We are all God’s children, perfectly made in God’s image. And I believe the time has come and is now near when the UMC will live out its claim of open hearts, open minds and one doors. Don’t give up! I pledge to stay the course. From Rev. Deborah Ingraham
This sounds like good news to me! Thanks for your prophetic witness and ministry. God is always on the side of justice, especially for the marginalized. God is love. You are not alone!