Thoughtful Tuesday: An artful response

Argh! I am just beginning sabbatical. I packed everything. And the tiny suitcase of my art supplies is sitting. at. home. So, pleh.

I am officially on sabbatical. It started Sunday just after launching Manna: An Online Worship for All. That effort, to launch a new service, in a new way, on time, and with zero budget, I suppose, was an artful response to the woes of the world.

We created Manna to stand in for those people who are in places where they cannot access a Christian community that affirms who they are. It is planned and led by LGBTQIA+ people. We had people as far flung as Cambodia, Sierra Leone, the Congo, England, and of course, all ends in the US, but especially, I noticed, the southern ends.

It is true that the Christian south has a reputation for not including, affirming, or honoring our LGBTQIA+ siblings. I know of one person who has already had her credentials denied (she was booted out of the ordination process) because she did not fit the mold. People are quizzing ordinands on their sex life. Not concerned about healthy relationships but concerned about whether or not two men have sex or two women have sex. Stupid.

And then, we launched Manna, and created a closed group that will house people who are afraid to be public with their support and it requires people to answer questions like "Do you affirm that LGBTQIA+ folks can be pastors and, can say this with integrity: "I wish to be led by LGBTQIA+ leadership." Someone replied:

"No, I do not. I just wanted to watch how you handled online worship. No agenda. But after looking at this questionnaire, I decided that I have ethical issues with an inclusivity test designed to exclude people from worship."

From a Facebook Message, 6/10/2019

Okay, then. I'm making assumptions from his profile - for that cisgender, heteronormative, white baby boomer dude that responded that way, I can clearly see that he has not been among marginalized people who need to feel safe. five raspberries. Make it six raspberries.

Photo by Anto Meneghini on Unsplash

There is a saying among fems, "We are not here to satisfy the male gaze." The worth of a person is not in what is viewed by others. Same here. We are not here to satisfy the onlooker's gaze. We are here to build community and to help each other stay safe, sane, and whole.

At any rate, worship happened. Nobody else was weird. We had three languages represented in worship! It was way cool. 🙂 That is an artful response.

And now I rest.

Glossary:
LGBTQIA+ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and more

Cisgender = your gender matches your body parts

Heteronormative = A viewpoint that expresses heterosexuality as a given instead of being one of many possibilities.

Fems = Abbreviated from the word feminine, fem refers to a person who demonstrates behaviors that are stereotypically associated with women.

One Comment

  • Not all forms of EXclusivity are bad. If Manna didn’t allow, e.g., Buddhists or Catholics or bald-headed people, that would be indefensible. But that one has to be accepting of LGBTQIA+ people is appropriate because LGBTQIA+ folks are a group that needs a safe space, not Buddhists, Catholics, or bald people. That seems entirely and pristinely reasonable to me. Manna is in the business of giving LGBTQIA+ folk a safe harbor, not people who don’t need such. What’s not to like?

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