Being Christian is challenge enough in a society which no longer supports church the way it did.
I’m old enough to remember when church was THE activity on Sundays. I’ve spoken about my Dad being asked as Gore’s Mayor to approve Sunday night movies in in the 1960s.
Now, people express surprise that churches are protesting Wellington’s loss of free CBD parking on Sundays! Why might that be a problem? (wry smile). One inner city clergy is canvassing for Sunday attendance numbers to see what total Sunday CBD attendances are. Will keep you posted.
But also, it’s a challenge being Christian when you are not heterosexual and gender fixed. Researching for a 125th suffrage update of Women Together I looked up a youtube of David Gushee’s presentation in 2016 on how he has changed his mind on glbtqi issues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l_BtCEzBpo
The video includes a couple of my questions which I asked at the time. In the answer to one of them Prof Gushee confirms misogyny is a major driver of homophobia (watch the video – much more should be said about this). The other was about the tug of war I see within conservative-leaning gay people who find they need to attend more liberal churches to find acceptance, when the style/content of liberal/progressive worship is not their preference. This means two sides of that person are deeply at war – their spirituality and their sexuality – for reasons beyond the usual negative arguments. My heart bleeds for them. I know how I would feel if I needed to attend a church as fundamentalist as the one in which I grew up, in order to be accepted as a person.
Which brings me to two important advertisements. One is urgent and you will need to act quickly if you can, hence the enews coming out a day early. At BATS theatre on Saturday night (August 24) at 9pm a regular 60 minute show ‘Brackets’ (see black and white logo above) will this week include a piece on being queer and being Christian. Hope to see you there. This is the blurb.
“This show is about not being loved. This show is about having a hurt, a wound in you so deep that it echoes grief.
This show is about being loved and then not knowing what to do with it.
This show is about being yourself. This show is about not knowing who you are.
This show is about growing up a brown queer not woman.”
The second is an advance notice that in 18-22 March 2019, Wellington is hosting an International Conference which covers the rainbow spectrum. I am attending a launch and meet-the-organisers event this Friday. We have already been asked if we can be a ‘safe’ and inclusive space for delegates. Also, I heard on Sunday that members of our congregation have submitted proposals to this conference about how the lgbtqi community is or is not welcomed at church and what religious freedom looks like for rainbow people of faith. They report some interest in our doing some hosting of interfaith happenings connected to the conference – all quite fluid at the moment, but just giving you all a headsup.
Hope you are all well. On Sunday we will look at how the idea of the ‘whole armour of God’ translates to an inner spiritual journey rather than an outer battle as we end this short ‘Being Christian’ series. The Exploring Faith group I would like to postpone till next month – hope that’s OK with you all. See you at the Gathering. Make the most of free parking on The Terrace while you have it!
To view the full e-news click here : https://mailchi.mp/9a0e5dc38c4d/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-1412957