Sometimes it really gets me. You know when you read or hear something and it gives you that ‘kick in the stomach feeling’ and all of a sudden you just want to cry and ask why? Well that happened yesterday.
So the back story, a few of us, some regular congregation members, some not, have been going to a Church in Hull occasionally while they discuss and explore the subject of sexuality. This came about, when we wanted to display an LGBT Christian Fellowship poster, it was put up, taken down, put back up etc. This prompted the Church to think about where they stand when it comes to sexuality and related issues.
So I of course offered our help and support as they go through this process, however they decide to approach it. The thought and effort they went to was brilliant, and it really touched us as a family. There are many Churches who just sweep this under the carpet, they were tackling it head on, and I’m so proud! I went along and told them how I came out, how I came to terms with it, offered them the chance to ask me /my parents any questions they wished. We respected the views of others when they disagreed, and stressed how important it was to talk about this honestly, whatever that meant.
This is the Church I grew up in for the first 13 years of my life, my birth was announced from the pulpit the very same morning I was born. My mum grew up there, my grandparents both went there, my parents were married there, both mine and my sister’s thanksgivings where held there, my baptism and many other Sundays spent in between. We’ve always tried to go back and keep in touch since we ‘left’ so it’s safe to say this Church, the congregation and its journey forward, means a lot to us.
It all boiled down to their Church Council meeting, and a case of voting as to whether they feel they can display our (LGBT Fellowship) information.
I was informed yesterday they had decisively voted against.
You’d think by now, it’d be like water of a ducks back, I’ve been here, in similar situations plenty of times before, but sometimes you just can’t help but take it personally, and it hurts.
I’m not in any way annoyed with them for selfish reasons, and while some of the pain is for myself, because I feel so tied to this community, a lot of it is for others, and for the effects this decision could have.
There are quite a few that go to the Church that have LGBT relatives, how does this make them feel? What message does it give to those relatives? What about those who will come to the Church for maybe a wedding, funeral or baptism and sit in the pews thinking that God isn’t for them because they’re gay? Those that will sit wondering who they can talk to about this problem? What to do next? Whether they can even carry on?
I’ve never asked any Church to start flying rainbow flags (although it’d be nice) from the rooftops, only to discuss it, think about it, and provide the congregation with the relevant information to do that. In this case, I believe displaying posters for our LGBT Fellowship and open events is doing just that.
I’ve written this from my heart, not my head, so in places it may not make perfect sense. I feel better than I did yesterday, but it’s still pretty raw for me. Maybe I’m being over dramatic, over sensitive but I’ve come to the conclusion recently that actually, sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay.
I so often think I’m invincible, and it’s hits like these that make me realise I’m not!
We’re planning to go along to their service on Sunday morning, it’s a little bittersweet and I’m sure I’ll feel more stable by then! Just because they’ve decided against for now, doesn’t mean we disappear, all of us are still going to be around, after all we still have a lot of work to do!
I’m a tough cookie, yeah sometimes I fall when I get hit, who doesn’t?! But the important bit it getting back up, and in this case, shaking hands, showing God’s acceptance through our lives and deciding how to move forward together, in love.