On Public Writing and Polarization

I recently helped write a letter to leaders of my denomination, Mennonite Church USA. This letter asks that the denomination make space for congregations and pastors who welcome and bless LGBTQ people. Over 150 credentialed (and formerly credentialed) Mennonite pastors have signed it.  I shouldn’t be surprised that there have been letters in response to…

Dancing with the Elephant

In one of my Mennonite Facebook groups the other day, someone asked who would be the first to blog about the “elephant in the room.” That elephant would be the recent licensing toward ordination of my friend and colleague Theda Good. Theda is called by God and gifted by the Spirit to serve a church…

In Praise of Church Ladies

If you are of a certain age, you might remember “Church Chat” on Saturday Night Live. Dana Carvey’s character, the Church Lady, manifested all of the stereotypes of old, religious women. She thought very highly of herself and quite poorly of everyone else. I can imagine being interviewed by the Church Lady: “So, you married…

An Open Letter to Those who would Leave the Mennonite Church because I’m still a Mennonite Pastor

To summarize many stressful months as succinctly as possible: I officiated a same-sex wedding; the Leadership Commission of Western District Conference (Mennonite Church USA) found my ordination credentials in order; some people are not happy about this. So, to those who are deeply troubled by my action and by the Commission’s decision: I understand that…

It’s Not Just About Sex

The e-mail finally came last Friday afternoon. It cam to me from the Leadership Commission, and it came to all pastors in Western District Conference from the Executive board.  It was the official rationale of why the commission decided to let my credentials remain in order after I officiated a same-sex wedding. It also contains…

For Randy–For Us All

Recently a colleague of mine was dismissed from his position on the bi-national Mennonite worship committee because he is “actively” gay.  That is to say that he married the man he loves and they live together in a supportive, committed relationship.  Somehow, in the eyes of my denomination’s leadership, this makes him unfit to serve…