no, Now is not simple,
Forward will not be either;
we exist in a new time.
before we rush back into Familiar,
what do we want to revive from Familiar?
after seven years away,
I find the Tasselled Pines still provide shelter,
the wit present in each chat
embodies a love not chilled by time.
home, where it all began,
where Hope is forever being Restored.
although a row of Dirigo Maples
divides one land from another,
tenacity lives in the wind,
freely dwelling, mending,
just as the ocean waves
to each inhabitant.
hearts along these shores
continue to be Wells of Hope,
though some rocks in the bay will crumble
when erosion tests their endurance,
the ocean always builds anew;
she still writes poetry.
on Saturday, March 14th, an event called "Queerly Grafted" was held at St. Croix [Vineyard] Church in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. the event was part of St. Croix Church's decision to be public, intentional, and explicit about being an affirming congregation - PIE Day - though due to COVID-19 concerns, there was no pie and the larger event was postponed.
Queerly Grafted was "an evening of song and stories in which LGBTQ+ people shared their stories of pain and appreciation and grief in their relationship with the Vineyard movement." St. Croix Church was asked to leave Vineyard Canada due to their "belief and practice in performing same-sex marriages and celebrating full inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQ+ family, friends, and neighbours." at the end of the Queerly Grafted event, any queer individuals who wanted to share were invited to speak. here is what I shared:
I grew up in the United Methodist Church (UMC) in the United States. last year, at the UMC General Conference, the denomination adopted the Traditional Plan, the most restrictive and non-affirming option of those presented. one of the speakers for an affirming outcome was J.J. Warren; he spoke of wanting to be a pastor in the UMC because he loved the tradition. J.J. saw the UMC as his home.
the UMC was my home as well – even as I grew older and saw its imperfections. until last year, it felt like I always had a place there if I wanted to visit when I was in the US. when the UMC adopted the Traditional Plan, they made me feel like I was no longer welcome; they made me doubt if I ever truly had been welcome.