How are you doing?
Me? I’m fine. Thanks for asking.
Just kidding. Of course I’m not “fine”. Who’s “fine” right now?
I have hundreds of nightmare scenarios running through my head about what the new Supreme Court will do to our civil liberties and our democracy. I’m scared that there will not be a peaceful transfer of power in January. I have no idea when, if ever, we’ll get to a post-COVID reality and I’m worn out from the relentless spread of the virus and so many people’s refusal to do basic things to keep themselves and others healthy. I’m figuring out how to cook all the Thanksgiving food myself this year.
I guess I’m O.K. I’m hanging in there. I have good days and bad days. Good hours and bad hours. My external circumstances are about as good as could be expected and my emotional and spiritual reserves have not been totally depleted.
But I’m not fine. And you probably aren’t either. And all of that is a long introduction into what I really want to share with you: A Resolution for Repentance and Transformation.
Because as national politics spiral out of control, I’m finding some hope in working to effect change in a smaller governing body–Mennonite Church USA. I’m definitely not saying that we shouldn’t address issues at the national level; I am saying that it may help to also work on a smaller scale, addressing more local governments and/or denominational politics.
In MC USA, I know people personally. I have some form of access to the really important people! And I actually respect those people. Plus, as Mennonites we share basic values–even when people have very different ideas about how to live out those values, it at least feels like we have a stable starting place for discussions: you know, Jesus. So within the church, I have hope that maybe we can make some progress together.
I’m working with the Inclusive Pastors Leadership team to submit a resolution for our 2021 national convention. (Let’s just pretend we’re going to have a 2021 convention.) It’s called “A Resolution for Repentance and Transformation” because it calls the church to repent of the harm we’ve done to LGBTQ people in the church through oppressive theologies, policies, and structures. And it calls us to work to transform the church into a more faithful community of welcome, justice, and celebration. If you are part of –or in any way connected to–Mennonite Church USA, please consider signing on in support of the resolution.
I have no idea what will happen with this resolution–whether it will even be brought before the delegates next year, let alone whether or not it will pass.
I do know that the existence of this resolution has caused many congregations to have good discussions about issues of sexuality, race, power, and the church. I do know that helping to write and promote this document has helped–is helping–me feel a little less helpless; a little less overwhelmed; a little bit, as the Indigo Girls would say, closer to fine.