Saturday, August 11, 2007

blowing in the wind

It has taken me a little while to get back to the blog after the week away. Beginning with the sounds of a "Jesus Boot Camp" outside our tent (we were literally surrounded by screaming kids in camouflage our first morning at the campground), somewhere in the middle we visited my brother in L.A. and it all ended with Matt on stage with Rufus Wainwright!

Our brief visit to the L.A. Catholic Worker was wonderful, we want to return there for a longer visit sometime. Everyone was very welcoming to us and we had the chance to view Father John Dear's documentary "The Narrow Path" with the summer interns. The film is definitely worth watching if you have the opportunity. Jeff, a long time member of the LA Catholic Worker whom we met briefly is in jail right now for participating in an all night sit-in encouraging a House member to stop funding the war. Please join us in praying with him as he "is dedicating his jail time to the memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." After the film Matt and I linked up with my seminary friend Rachel and then Christopher led us to Venice Beach for dinner. (The photo below is of Christopher, me, and Matt left to right)

There's been a lot to blog about this week, but the story below was particularly frustrating to me revealing the ongoing tension between certain forms of Christianity and the struggle to treat all people with dignity, respect and love.

Church Cancels Memorial for Gay Navy Vet

ARLINGTON, Texas — A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.

"It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gay so we can't help you,'" she said Friday.

Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair because their brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first Gulf War, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare him for a heart transplant.

Here's the full story.

If this mega church's actions make you "mega" frustrated too I encourage you to join me in 1) praying for everyone involved, especially those who are grieving 2) sending an email to the pastor encouraging him to publicly apologize and 3) sharing this story with others.

The recent LGBT Presidential Forum hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and attended by most of the Democratic candidates was a sign of hope this week that things are going to change for the better in this country for all, including megachurches. If God can change Paul from being the chief persecutor of Christians to the church's leading evangelist, God can change even the most anti-gay churches and pastors into places and people of blessing, acceptance, and love.

THIS JUST IN: I just received an email from Susan Russell saying, "Lutherans to allow pastors in gay relationships". AWESOME! Here's the story.


Progressive Pragmatist said...

Now if that isn't one of the saddest instances of "don't ask, don't tell".... I just don't know.

Ian said...

Hi Will

Man I am missing you guys and San Fran. I met up with Marc Andrus in Oxford with Bp Jeff Lee - which was a real treat.

So how are you guys?
I am hanging out in Northern Ireland taking a break - did you get my mailing about a potential gig?
Ian X