MUSINGS FROM MIKE
I found something out today.
This morning I did a really difficult funeral for a 61 year old woman who died after a 15 year bout with cancer and her broken hearted family.
Somewhere in the aftermath of that service I flashed back to another service I did almost ten years ago. It was for a young woman who died from a chronic illness. Her family was atheist and the funeral director was stuck for someone to lead a ‘remembrance’ of the young woman. I agreed because the director was really stuck and my heart went out to this young woman’s family.
It was probably the worst service I have ever done. Her family was adamant that I not mention God in any way. I went ahead…and I had nothing. For a long time it was a service I just tried to forget, but it just would not leave my memory (unlike many of your names at communion time).
Today God really brought it home to me that my faith is the biggest part of who I am. The things I believe: about God, Jesus, and their relationship to us and the lives we live matter. Without them, I have nothing to offer that matters.
I am thinking this is God working on my mind and heart for all the difficult conversations and events that are in front of us, and perhaps in front of you. Difficult things in politics, our community, and in your lives. Very difficult things in the UM Church about if and how to include LGBTQ people in the life of the church and its ministries. There is a better than even chance that the United Methodist Church we have all known will break apart next spring and summer.
But I have to say to you that I believe we can face the conversations and decisions that will be in front of us as a congregation and as followers of Jesus because I learned the hard way that my faith and what I believe matters. And I am convinced if we share a faith in common that matters we will be able to do what we need to do and continue the mission of ‘feeding people in Jesus’ name – body and soul’.
To help with that during the month of October I will be unpacking some tools to help you think and pray about how our faith relates to people who are LGBTQ. As I have prepared, I am encouraged and even a little excited that the Bible and the faith we share in Jesus Christ gives clear markers to help us find our way.
I hope you will join with me and each other to make the journey.