Monday, September 15, 2008

Even the Red States are Really Purple....

My weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana, included keynoting a conference for people of faith from a wide number of churches, doing a parenting workshop, leading the adult education session and preaching at a UCC congregation.

I was reminded -- once again -- that even in the most conservative areas, people need and want a message that affirms sexuality as part of spirituality and full inclusion for us all.

Here's some of what happened this weekend:

An elderly couple with tears running down their faces asked if they could hug me after I preached, the woman saying, "I've never had my gay son affirmed this way at church before."

A couple with a young child reached out to me to talk about how and when to talk to their child about their use of IVF to conceive.

Two gay men told me that they have plans to go to Massachusetts to get married later this fall and asked for my blessing.

A woman thanked me for acknowledging women like her who had been sexually abused as children.

At last a handful of clergy who had never heard of the Religious Institute joined our network.

Oh, and an elderly man handed me a cookie when I got off the plane, welcoming me to Fort Wayne.

It's good to remember that even in the red states, there are many progressive people who support sexual justice -- and welcome the stranger and love their neighbor.


Anonymous said...

Coming from a state frequently falling in the "red" category when it comes to election time, I appreciate this column addressing what many of us struggle to point out when we get into arguments with our more "red" inclined next-door neighbors: "I'm not the only one here who is thinking this!"

Robin Edgar said...

Why do I associate the color purple with bruises in this context?

Anonymous said...

How is appropriate sex education a "blue" thing? Don't conflate unrelated notions.

Contemplative Chaplain said...

As one of the attendees of your Indiana jaunt, I want to tell you how important it was for me (as the mother of a toddler you saw this weekend crawling around at the Saturday workshop!)

Blessings to you on your journey.