PFLAG Greater New Haven/Shoreline
|Gay Straight Alliances
Intersex Youth and Families.
Or Online: www.ourtruecolors.org
Is Fairfield County's support group for LGBT youth, ages 16-22. The group meets every Sunday, from 4 to 6 P.M., at the Triangle Community Center, 16 River
A weekly support and social group for LGBTQI youth ages 16-21. Meetings are Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. at the New Haven Gay and Lesbian Community
Center, 50 Fitch Street, New Haven.
For information, please contact the Community Center at 203-387-2252.
|(*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)
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|A clergy colleague from the GLBTQ community recently exhaled this frustration in relation to this question from well-meaning allies. “What do you want me to do?” can mean many things. I think it most often is
truly a question of wanting to advance us toward a fully inclusive Church. Yet by asking the question, hopefully under the umbrella of “do no harm,” we unintentionally place the responsibility for knowing what
to do to effect change, on those already fighting just to survive in a church environment often indifferent or hostile to them. Allies could rather say “Here’s what I’d like to do” to our GLBTQ colleagues and then
listen as a bridge to new directions.
So these thoughts are offered not because my colleague can’t, but precisely because my colleague’s weariness points to allies’ responsibility. Here’s what I’d like allies to do:
1. Admit that you and I benefit from the system as it currently exists. If we don’t know that, we should figure it out. Because we do so benefit. And we like it. Which seriously gets in the way of our changing it.
2. Recognize that challenging the system means sacrifice: relinquishing our privilege in sacrificial ways we can imagine and ways that we cannot.
3. Recognize that advocacy for a fully-inclusive church is not something we do alone. It is not solely engaging in personally righteous behavior, although there is certainly value in that. It is also joining with those
similarly inclined, and aligning our preaching, our administration, our pastoral care around a commitment that “whoever you are, wherever you are, on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.”
4. Make time for advocacy. This means talking with that colleague we think might be an ally but we aren’t yet sure. It means taking a moment to sign the “Covenant of Conscience” at www.mindny.org. It means
committing to attending one of the MIND annual meetings advertised in this periodical (April 30 and May 7) and coming to the MIND luncheon at Annual Conference.
5. Marry prayer and work. The Benedictines use a Latin phrase “ora et labora:” “pray and work.” Reflect on a harsh reality: we are too often inclined to pray and less inclined to work. For a Biblical injunction,
see James 2:18-26.
Rev. Dr. Brian Bodt, Pastor
Mary Taylor Memorial UM Church, Milford, CT