Daring to … Weave out futures with God and God’s people
Fourteen years ago, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, our partners, friends and families, gathered at the Brougham Place Uniting Church in Adelaide. Since that time we have met on the Queen’s birthday weekend in June, every even year in an Australian capital city. In 2008 we gathered at the Uniting Church of the Trinity, again in Adelaide. Our theme was “Daring to Weave our Futures”.
When we gather, we experience anew the rich textures of old friendships and the bright hues of new ones. We gather to strengthen and refresh our spirits, to weave new threads into the fabric of our community and to experience God’s Spirit amongst us.
We dare to weave our stories with the Church
Weaving depends upon the warp and weft crossing one another yet supporting one another in the overall structure and pattern – a creative tension. We believe we are called to be who we are, where we are, and so we will continue to work with patience and prayer; respecting unity, diversity and equality, learning to trust each other – the way of discipleship.
We long for the day when we cease to be the subject of contention because all God’s people are working together, supporting one another, respecting and cherishing our differences, knowing that the One who creates us and calls us sees a pattern we sometimes glimpse but never fully discern.
God’s creation is not a colourless blanket but a vibrant and beautiful tapestry. When we reject the gifts and graces of some, we lose the chance for new threads to be woven. We believe that – without lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, and our partners, friends and families – the Church cannot reflect the true fabric of God’s creative intention.
We dare to challenge the Church
We weep for the Church which continues to cast aside the richness of the gifts many of us have offered – leaving holes in the fabric of our life, diminishing the body of Christ and demeaning us, your sisters and brothers.
As we have seen recently, the power of an apology can be liberating and life changing. We believe that an apology from the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people would be fitting and appropriate. We long for the Church to recognise the pain it has inflicted on us, our partners, friends and families.
We want the Church to truly hear us – to listen with hearts and minds open to the endless possibilities God continues to offer us. Since its very beginnings the church has been called to listen to the voices of the marginalised, to re-evaluate and to welcome many we had turned away. Hear our voices now. Hear the still, small voice of the Spirit in us. Hear us as we call for equal participation in all future conversations about sexuality and our belonging.
It is the Spirit who weaves
None of us can fully comprehend the Divine. In faith we must leave space for God to do God’s work. We are all, individually and together, small but significant parts of the myriad colours of the rainbow fabric of creation.
We faithfully affirm our commitment to be co-creators with God, in God’s church and for the good of the whole and we await with hope the day when exclusion and inequality is but a distant memory.
In the name of the Christ
© Uniting Network Australia, Monday 9 June 2008, Church of the Trinity, Adelaide