[Called Out Editors’ note: We slipped up on sending this out in December. We blame this on one too many sugar cookies.]
Signs of Joy in a Season of Joy
For Immediate Release, Monday December 17, 2012
By Affirmation: United Methodists Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus is a popular hymn for the Advent Season. The text reflects our belief that Jesus the Christ, our hope of the world, is indeed coming even though we have waited a long time. This year, we who are Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns, joyfully sing this proclamation, having recently seen signs of God’s love growing in our world.
Outside of The United Methodist Church, we celebrate many recent electoral results. In Minnesota, for the first time voters defeated an attempt to constitutionally limit marriage to opposite genders. Meanwhile, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington state, approved legal equality for civil marriages. Again, it was the first time this has occurred. In Iowa, there was a campaign to punish members of the Supreme Court who recognized that their state constitution supports marriage equality. This campaign failed to remove its targeted Justice. The political party promising to retain equality in Iowa, kept their majority position. On the national level, the re-election of President Barack Obama and the political majority in the Senate: showed that speaking in favor of marriage equality; valuing service by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons in the Armed Forces; and approving travel visas for those living with HIV/AIDS are all gaining popular acceptance in the United States. No longer are such positions considered radical and extreme by the majority of the voting population. Even internationally there is joy, as Spain’s Supreme Court approved that country’s marriage equality law.
Within our denomination we are also seeing God’s love break forth. Recently the Judicial Council ruled that while Annual and Jurisdictional Conferences must obey the letter of church law, it is acceptable to speak in opposition to those laws. The Council of Bishops wisely lived out this truth by not censuring Bishop Talbert, or anyone, for seeking Biblical Obedience.
There is indeed still much work to be done to transform this Church and this world for Jesus Christ. This is Advent. During this season of preparation we sing Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. We eagerly await the time when hearts will be open to love all persons, when minds will open to the truth of God’s creative genius, and when all the doors of The United Methodist Church will be open to all. Until that time, Affirmation: United Methodists will continue working for the transformation of our church and of our world.
As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people, Affirmation: United Methodists radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church as we journey with the Spirit in creating God’s beloved community.
Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.
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