Saturday, April 18, 2015

Region 1 What?

At a fundraiser for the youth at my church
photo credit: LeeAnne Krause

I am so thrilled to be a part of the work of ReconcilingWorks as the new Regional Coordinator for Region 1, a volunteer position.

So what does this mean?  It means I get to meet and work with the local people who are on the ground in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, to help deepen and expand the Reconciling in Christ program in ELCA Lutheran churches.

We will work together make more churches welcoming to the LGBTQ community, and to dismantle injustice based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity and other categories through a Lutheran lens.

Why is this still important?  Why does this matter to me?

Passion. Love. Hope.

Passion:  When I hear the personal stories of friends who have been kicked out of churches, estranged from families, bullied, assaulted, or told they cannot have a relationship with God, it makes me so angry.  I believe that God created a beautiful diversity, and that God loves each of us passionately, no matter what, just as we are.  I want to help create a world in which everyone is loved, where the worth and dignity of everyone is celebrated.

Love: I am grateful to have had church experiences where I have known God's love, where my family and friends have been able to walk with me on my own journeys through divorce, depression, joys, and transition.  The love of my family, friends, and church gives me strength.  I want to help create a world in which everyone is surrounded by loving community.

Hope: Honestly, sometimes I feel hopeless in the face of whatever latest crisis or assault is on the news.  I try to keep my candle flame of hope still burning in the midst of the whirlwinds of injustice, fear, and devastation.  My hope survives because of the stories of faith and courage that I hear, in your stories! I also find hope in God, and in the stirrings of the Spirit.  I see the Spirit moving and healing in the world, and so I keep on keeping on.

I'm new to this role, and I'm still learning. I have many people to meet and stories to hear. And at the end of the day, I look forward to all of us working together to bring love, hope, and peace to our world.

Thank you for walking with me.

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