After a month of thinking, talking, and writing about sexuality, I’m tired of the subject.  I know that many of those who’ve been thinking, talking, and listening along with me are also tired of it.  “Are we done yet?” and “Okay, let’s move on now” are commonly expressed sentiments in the church this week, even from those who (like me) have been moved and challenged and experienced the amazing gifts of the Spirit at work throughout this conversation.

Yeah, I’m ready to move on to something else, in formal and informal conversations, and especially in worship.  And never fear, we are: a service of praise and thanksgiving this Sunday (with poetry and song instead of a sermon), then some guest speakers before we head into Lent at the end of February.

And yet, if I’m tired of thinking and talking about sexuality after just a month, I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for LGBTQ* folks whose identity and interactions with society are so often defined by their sexuality.

That’s one of the privileges of being part of the straight majority: I only have to think about my sexuality when I want to.  The rest of the time, I’m free to identify myself—or not—through a variety of other categories: pastor, father, neighbour, American, sports fan, etc.  Even when I’m with my wife, holding hands as we walk down the street, those other labels are what come to mind for most of the people we walk past.  I never assume that someone is thinking “there goes another straight couple… keep your sexuality to yourself!”

Not so for many in the LGBTQ* community.  That label is attached to so much of what they do and who they are: “our new neighbour, you know, the lesbian.”  “The gay parents at my kid’s school.”  “I think my yoga teacher must be gay.”  Etc. (And those are just the well-intentioned labels.)  At any point their sexuality is up for discussion and commentary, whether or not it’s relevant to the situation at hand.  Especially at church these days.

Sometimes it’s a choice to be noticed for a sexual orientation or gender identity.  But much of the time it isn’t a choice, just a label that someone else puts onto them whether it’s relevant or not.  And of course, the LGBTQ* community aren’t the only people to be labelled and boxed in by an external qualifier beyond their control: this is also the experience of many minority groups that are defined by their race, their income, etc.

What would it mean for the church to have our agenda set not by majority opinion, but by the needs of people in the minority?  What would it look like for pastors and leaders to follow a path laid out by the experiences and voices of the marginalized?  I think I’ve experienced a small taste of that this month, and even though I’m tired, I’ve experienced God in the listening and learning.

May God give us strength to continue long past the point of interest and convenience towards genuine truth and justice.


Sunday Mornings
10:45 a.m. In-Person Worship at WMC

10:15 a.m. Zoom Fellowship Time
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Pastor Joe Heikman
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Pastor Eileen Klaassen
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