So, we have an expression of choice which will once again tear a construct apart.
Or, is this a reflection of what was already broken? I go with this one.
Church, like money & politics, is a loaded word. Either of them will reveal immediate differences. Today, we take the word church.
If you are seeking a personal relationship with God, know, you may not find it at your ‘church’. We expect to, and there may lie the seed of an issue. A church is a building or business which is founded, and run and led by a human being. Human beings are imperfect. What does that say? That church will be imperfect.
Let us go to the nature of God; All-Loving.
Does God have anything to do with church? Let us enlarge our net and include spiritual groups and communities. All begun, led and guided by a human.
Unless a human has reached a level of unconditional living and being, chances are you will find judgement being raised. Even if one states, ‘you mean like Jesus was’…..as an interfaith, New Thought minister having served for ten years in Church ministry, too many times I witnessed what I perceived as judging. Judging which denounces, which wrongs, condemns, which makes other feel less than, which looks to another persons faults rather than their purity and innocence as a child of ‘God”, of the Universe.
I have a ministry. I am a human being. Not everyone agrees with me. Okay. (a favorite quote, ” If everyone were in the same place there would only be one teacher.”)
We can be a part of a construct which denounces us and take it personally, or we can say, this is what life is…we and constructs get to choose, they make choices…..free will is about choice……and I obviously do not agree with their dogma, their attitudes, their guidelines. Thank you and goodbye.
My personal history with ‘church’ is this story happened over and over again until I made the conscious choice to listen, and walk away, to un-cling and truly live, that whatever this God word represents to me, it is WAY too big for one building and way too loving for the constructs.
I failed over and over again to fit into the box a church board or a senior minister had designed through their choice. The congregations would love me…. it was always a love affair of joy, support, growth and inclusion. Most of the time, the boards and the senior ‘management’ were very complementary, pleased and appreciated of my presence – except, when I wanted to be their full time choice. Then, I was not aligned enough, certified enough or trained enough by their standards. It was critical due to the acceptance for three or more years of being a guest minister or on staff……and then, when it was that moment; I was literally shunned. The episodes could make a hallmark movie, one being my own mentor denied me to my face, telling me that the position I wanted was impossible for me to assume and the person I had mentored through ministerial school who had no church experience at all got the desired position. (They lasted only one year and the church has since closed.) Okay now, deep breath. Another is after three years of being an interim minister I applied for permanent and was denied the position due to lack of graduating from their specific arm of church education (although they let me teach it, preach it and serve it for many Sundays.) Now, what happened post this episode is interesting; first off, I was broken. Evidently I was shocked. My ego must have been inflated. I had felt so assured, so loved, each one always telling me how grateful they were I was there…..that when I walked out of that final meeting with their board I was in indescribable pain. Within a week I received several phone calls from congregants, each one angry, in dismay, upset. (Many who I am still, to this day, in touch with, 12-15 years past.) I remember the phone calls as if they were yesterday: holding my heart and head with one hand, breathing deeply into the phone, praying for right loving guidance to direct them – and I would say, ‘Your board did what they feel is best for you. They are your board, you need to speak with them. ‘ I had to encourage them to use what empowerment they had – for them, not me. After this phone call I was told a meeting was held, the first of many, and even small children would stand up and ask for Rev Deb to come back. I am sure the board did not have an easy time holding onto their choices. They did, many left the church, they eventually found their minister of choice.
It wasn’t until I fully realized how I do not fit into any box that I was able to un-cling, let go and let God. Now, my life is filled with an out of the box successful ministry of supporting others to engage with a personal relationship with Spirit, through the recognition of many varied offerings. Some people like this, others like different. So be it. You get to choose.
This choice by the United Methodist Church is going to break it apart. But, AND; do NOT let it break YOU! (Personally for me, anything that is still judging others for any gender related issue is going to crumble now. It cannot stand in the midst of our loving vibration. True colors will always be revealed in the Light of Love.)
We cannot let another human beings choices, stances, opinions break us. IF we do, then WE fail to remember how much God loves us! When we are NOT recognized, we must go where we are.
In this earthly existence there will ALWAYS be differences. For many of us, this is the beautiful fabric of life – for others it is scary and boxes have to be erected in order to keep themselves safe from those who think differently than they do. Individuals do this and churches do this. Businesses do this. Constructs do this. It is the way of the human, but not the way of a Loving God.
Shared with Great Love,
Rev. Deborah Evans Hogan
The Amethyst Light Ministry