Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Amendment 10-A (The Presbys Are At It Again)

My comments from tonight's meeting of the Presbytery of West Jersey. These were my words regarding Amendment 10-A, which would remove the "chastity and fidelity" requirement for ordination, opening the door for queer folk to be ordained as Elders, Deacons, and Ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

One quick note, there were three references to Nazi Germany tonight, all from the folks who are against ordaining queer folk. I gotta say that I would have gone a different way with Bonhoeffer. Also, could we please retire the phrase "The Homosexual Question"?

After discussion the vote was 67-67. Tie votes usually mean a no vote, but we voted to re-cast the vote at our May 17th meeting, with no discussion or debate permitted. So then, my comments:

I’ve only been a pastor for 2 years, but what I have realized is that the more certain I am that I am right, the more likely it is that I am wrong. This realization came to me while mediating a conflict in which all parties were certain that the problem was the other group’s fault. I know we have all been there in the church, all of us, elders and ministers.

The discussion around this amendment bears remarkable resemblance to that conflict—we all come from places of deep conviction and deep love for the Presbyterian Church. We all have our favorite Scriptures to support our convictions. Yet even in the midst of this fractious battle over ordination standards, we stand united in our love and respect for Christ—truly I believe it may be all that unites us.

Last fall I chose to publicly claim a queer identity. I chose to continue to serve the church and remain a member of the Presbytery—to live and work and have my being among all of you, even as a queer, divorced, woman pastor. It was a terrible risk. But my ministry at New Covenant continues, and I will remain as long as I am useful there.

Amendment 10A calls for us to submit joyfully to Christ and to examine our candidates carefully to see if they are a good fit for the community they will serve.  It is a risk. There will surely be some lousy queer elders, deacons, and ministers—perhaps you know some straight folk who are messy? And yet 10A allows for the possibility that the Spirit might be moving among queer folk in the same way that it moves among straight folk.

10A allows room for the Spirit to move in a church that has become paralyzed with grief and anger. I hope we will move into uncertainty, trusting that we are united in our love for Christ.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent(il) Soup

It's all @iBelin's fault, but I gave up meat and dairy for Lent. So that means legumes and beans and stuff--things I didn't really grow up eating if I could help it, and things I've never really cooked before.

This lentil soup recipe from Dove's Eye View turned out wonderfully, although I only had yellow lentils. I added vegetable stock and plenty of lemon, and it's exactly what I hoped for! A little couscous to go on the side topped it all off. And the best part is there is plenty of soup for several days.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Future of the Church

Psalm 90

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.
Lord, you have been our dwelling-place
   in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
   or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust,
   and say, ‘Turn back, you mortals.’
For a thousand years in your sight
   are like yesterday when it is past,
   or like a watch in the night.

You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
   like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
   in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are consumed by your anger;
   by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
   our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

For all our days pass away under your wrath;
   our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are seventy years,
   or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
   they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Who considers the power of your anger?
   Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you.
So teach us to count our days
   that we may gain a wise heart.

Turn, O Lord! How long?
   Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
   and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
   and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
   and prosper for us the work of our hands—
   O prosper the work of our hands!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Snickerdoodles and the Queer Agenda

I'm probably not supposed to tell you this, but item II.A.ix on the Queer Agenda is "Eat Snickerdoodles.


Here is a link to the recipe I used to create the cookies in the photo, over at the blog Not Without Salt by Ashley. I always look for my recipes on blogs because they come with commentary and suggestions. Ashley added to her recipe a little vignette of how her husband made these cookies for her. Some days I need to hear that people are making relationships work in small, sweet ways. Click on the link, make some cookies, and share in the joy Ashley and her husband created.



Also, my friend George wrote this poem over on
Facebook after seeing the cookies:

"Making Relationships Work"

For Katie

Maybe bears
“Make their relationship work”
By sleeping half the year.

And maybe salmon make
“Their relationship work”
By dying after spawning.

And maybe eagles
“Make their relationship work”
By doing death-defying freefall
Before the eggs are laid.

But maybe we humans
Can make our relationships work-
Be it friendship or politics
Or commerce or love-
By doing small things like
Carrying out the trash,
Putting the toilet seat down,
Or baking cookies by surprise.

If none of those things work,
There is always Wild Kingdom.

George R. Pasley
March 4, 2011
Ketchikan, AK