I am pleased to share that Belly of the Whale Ministries has begun the process of becoming an officially reconciling ministry which means that amidst our human brokenness we are called to be reconciled with one another regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, country of origin, age, ability and more.
As you may know, the United Methodist Church has been in quite a bit of turmoil as to how to move forward as the body of Christ - particularly with regards to issues of human sexuality. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers, but as a result of many conversations I have gained some important clarity about my own faith journey.
So, I humbly share these beliefs with you - not as a be all and end all - but as an honest reflection of where I am today along this ever deepening journey of faith.
I believe that the Holy Scripture is the Word of God full of truth for all people - the essence of which is contained in the two commandments from Jesus that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength AND to love our neighbor as ourself.
I believe that we best understand how to live out these sacred commandments by listening for guidance from the Holy Spirit as revealed throughout history as well as through our own lived experience.
I believe that being a disciple of Christ means encouraging people to live a life saturated with love. This is the perfect fulfillment of the law as revealed through Christ's life and ministry.
I believe that we are called to choose love over scriptural literalism and that is why we have been able to see the wisdom in making the following critically important advances...
Women preachers are to be encouraged and celebrated. (in contrast to 1 Cor. 14:34)
Slavery is NEVER acceptable. (in contrast to 1 Peter 2:18-20)
Divorce is no longer considered to be adultery. (in contrast to Mark 10:11-12)
As it was with women's ordination, slavery and divorce, I believe that it is time to move beyond the literal interpretation of a handful of scriptures and welcome same sex couples fully into the life of the church. Loving, stable relationships nurtured and supported by a community of faith are a blessing to us all.
My deepest prayer is that by the grace of God the United Methodist Church will become a place of healing, hope and reconciliation that fully welcomes all of God's people all of the time.