I am lesbian.
I am a Minister.
I am new to The United Church.
I am grateful for the decision of 1988 — as messy as it was at the time and since then because when I came out at the age of 50 years old, already as a minister in the Mennonite Church, I knew I could/would find a home, or at least was more hopeful that I would find a home church, that would receive me and my gifts…
And though I am still healing from a coming out journey in another denomination most of what I have experienced in The United Church is welcome and embrace. The fact that those of us who are “out” keep coming back to the church or staying, provides ongoing opportunity for the church to heal, for hearts that were once stone to soften and change.
The Spirit of Life has not let me go, has not let the church go, has not let go of anyone on either side of the debate.
The Living Apology Project is a courageous opportunity for stories to be told — some of them painful. But our God is a God of story and relationship and repeated call to faithfulness. I pray that this project if it results in apology… hmmm… that seems less important that the opportunity that has been created for the sharing and telling of stories.
I guess if an apology develops out of this — okay, but the healing is in the storytelling.
I am grateful and I need to heal by God’s grace. The apology might be part of that healing. May it be so.
Signed, Rev. Marilyn Zehr
(Shared with permission. Photo credit: Wix stock photo.)