By Waltraut Stein firstname.lastname@example.org
At Louie Crew's invitation, I have been lurking on the Diocese of Newark mailing list for several weeks. Yesterday I was impressed by the actions of the vestry of The church of the Redeemer in Morristown in passing a resolution in support of Mayor John DeLaney's proposal to extend benefits to the domestic partners of town employees. I was particularly struck by the following paragraph in the sermon preached by Rev. Phillip Wilson:
Martin Luther King had a dream and Jesus had a vision of life when the rule of God, of justice and love, is honored. We can dream also today. Jesus' vision might be of a great banquet, but mine is that of a town-wide picnic where everyone in the town comes because everyone feels that he or she belongs. Blacks and whites are laughing and joking with each other, no one off in a section with their own kind. Jews and Christians and Muslims are sitting around asking what each believes and listening for the answers. Wheelchair races are going on along side foot races and the trophy for each winner is the same size. The children of Julie and Kate are busy planning a sleepover with the children of Jim and Joan. And, the sons of Hank and Donald think it's not fair that they can't go to an all-girls slumber party. And the three sets of parents are swapping stories of what it was like when they got married, legally. After the picnic no one knows what to do with the left over food because the Community Soup Kitchen went out of business two year ago for lack of people needing its services.It seems to me that an important mission of the church of Christ is continually to envision the kingdom of God, as Rev. Wilson has done so concretely and beautifully. This dreaming is especially important, I believe, when things look the most hopeless. I propose that we straight people prepare ourselves for the coming reconciliation between us and those who live out their sexuality differently. I present the following canticle as another way of envisioning the kingdom, and I invite others to share their visions while we are waiting.
Wally Stein trudyjoy@mindspring.
Church of the Epiphany
Rejoice with me all you folk who live out your sexuality differently than I do. Rejoice in a God who loves us all, a God who became human and died despised as you have been. Rejoice, for your suffering is now ended.
Rejoice, for you need no longer be afraid. I open wide the door of my heart and of my church to welcome you. Welcome home to the church of the risen Christ, the Christ with holes in his hands from wounds that can heal all our wounds. My love and respect await you in the court of my heart and of my church. Make yourself at home. I invite you to enter freely and warm yourself at my hearth. I will prepare a feast so we can eat together to celebrate your homecoming, the end of your suffering and separation.
Rejoice you folk who have hidden yourselves because you were told that your sexuality is evil. You need no longer be ashamed. I give thanks to the great God who made us, sustains us and loves each of His creations. Let us join together to express our love for this great God and open ourselves to receive Her love more fully. And let us all live out our sexuality joyfully in love.
Come Christians everywhere, rejoice!
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