41 years is not a long time in the arc of Christian history.
Yet, much has happened in the years since October 6, 1968, when the Rev. Troy D. Perry gathered 12 folks in his living room in the pink house in Huntington Park, CA for the first service of what would become the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
On a recording of Troy preaching a couple of years later, he said, “God moved that day.”
God has been moving ever since.
By 1972, there were 28 MCC churches. Today, there are about 250.
The founders thought it was a big deal when MCC jumped the border into Canada. Now, MCC leads the human rights efforts for LGBTQ folks in Romania, Jamaica, Malaysia, and engages homophobia on all seven continents.
When Troy showed up and said “Yes!” to God’s desire for justice and love in the church, the world moved. Leaders of many denominations might not want to admit it, but Troy Perry and MCC have forever changed, and continue to change, the faith.
Thank you, Troy, and thank you, God.
Recently, I talked too much.
This may not come as a surprise to some who know me, but in this instance I am being very serious.
I spoke to a person I admire and love very much and poured out some of my frustrations in a way that caused her to think I was angry with her.
I do that in prayer sometimes, too. The difference is that God can and will take whatever I dish out. That is not true with my friends, or other humans.
This experience also reminds of something I read recently about prayer. “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. . . . It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” The author? Mahatma Gandhi.
It is not that we cannot talk with or to God, but it is important to remember that we will be best served when we yearn to hear what God has to say to us.
That also is true with our friends. It certainly was true with my friend. I long for more connection with her. Certainly, she will not ever know that if she does not feel heard by me.
Help me listen more, and talk less, God.
When someone does the right thing, it is important to say “Thank You.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has put the United States of America firmly on record against the violence we know about it in places like Jamaica, Nigeria, Iran, Malaysia, and elsewhere.
She says, “(We) must condemn violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In country after country after country, young men and women are persecuted, are singled out, even murdered in cold blood, because of who they love or just based on claims that they are gay.”
And this is the critical part. showing that she means business, becoming proactive in this struggle for justice: “We are starting to track violence against the LGBT community, because where it happens anywhere in the world, the United States must speak out against it and work for its end.”
Of course, this action does not insure change overnight, but it is always better to resist violence with allies than on our own. And her announcement, coupled with the recent passage of legislation against hate crimes, shows movement from rhetoric to action by the Obama administration and Congress. Now, let’s repeal DADT and DOMA, and pass ENDA.
Thank you, Secretary Clinton.