It Was a Very Good Week
So, I’m not exhausted. Which is interesting because most of the people with whom I hang out are exhausted. I think something must be wrong with me. I am energized by crazy busy weeks that pull me in a thousand different directions. Let me illustrate.
Last Tuesday we had a brainstorming session for Open Launch, the new church planting ministry with which I am affiliated. We affirmed a values statement, planned an April retreat, secured the services of 12 coaches and three therapists, divided our initiatives into launching and re-launching, committed to a back office playbook, a job board, a church planting accelerator, a church planter cohort, and reported on the first services of our first church plant. All in all, a good day.
Wednesday started at 8:00 AM with a meeting of the Union of Affirming Christians, focused on advocating for governmental policy changes. The meeting was sponsored by Union Theological Seminary in NYC, but convened in Denver. We met with lawmakers in the Colorado Capitol building and planned ways to bring about policy change on LGBTQ and racial issues. That evening we held the monthly meeting of the Left Hand Community Church Leadership Council. I got to bed around midnight.
Thursday begin with Carla Ewert leading a gathering of stakeholders in the Open Network, followed by the first meeting of the new Open Network board of directors. I hurried out of that session to introduce Jenny Morgan, who was speaking for the Women’s Conference sponsored by She Is Called, a ministry of the Open Network. That led right into the opening session for the Gay Christian Network annual conference.
Over 1100 people gathered in Denver for the conference, which began on the 18th and ended on the 21st. On the first night, the new name of the ministry was unveiled, Q Christian Fellowship. I had a workshop on Friday entitled, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Being Transgender But Were Afraid to Ask. That was fun. The next day I moderated a panel about how our sexual life can be integrated into our existence as beings made in the image of God. Serving with me on the panel were Megan DeFranza, Isaac Archuleta and Tina Schermer Sellers. We had a lot of fun. I mean, a lot of fun. Those three are brilliant! When the workshop and panel session are available online, I’ll let you know.
As a board member and head of the nominating committee for QCF, I had one board meeting and two board orientation meetings during the conference, as well as a meeting with a group representing more conservative conference attendees.
By Sunday evening I was tired, but exhilarated. I like being busy, particularly when the work I am doing is important to the ongoing work of reconciliation to which we have been called.
My life is harder than it was in my days as a white male evangelical. And while I wish I had the security and friendships I had back then, I must say I have found an incredibly abundant life on the other side of evangelicalism. Yvette Flunder, Asher O’Callahan, Nadia Bolz-Weber and Julie Rodgers were our keynote speakers for the QCF conference. Their messages were powerful and prophetic. Three of the four speakers were female, and one was a person of color. That didn’t happen in my old world.
One of the speakers last week talked about the painful circumstances around the way in which she was treated by her Christian employer. The speaker and the audience were quite emotional. I was a tad dissociated. It is still difficult for me to fully grasp how 40 years of good work was over in a week..
That my life is now so full is a tribute to those who have brought about my healing, including my family, a handful of old friends, the co-pastors at Highlands Church in Denver, my co-pastors at Left Hand Community Church, the members of the Leadership Council at Left Hand, the leaders of the Open Network and the board of Q Christian Fellowship. All of us are working together to build the church of the 21st century, a church that brings the love of Christ to all people.
Yes, it was a very good week.
And so it goes.