For the Bible Tells Me So was shown here in St Louis, sponsored by HRC. It was well done, moving and amusing in that "laughing until you cry" way. I was especially touched by the story of the Robinsons and by Gene and his story made me feel proud to be Episcopalian all over again. As a Missourian (by adoption and grace) , I was also touched by the Gephardts' story.
But as the parent of a child who identifies as "gender queer" and another who identifies as bi- (both of whom are not at all clear that the church is a place they will find nurture as adults, grateful though they are for growing up in it in some ways) I noticed the following:
In the lovely animated segment which was a parody of the sex-ed films many of us grew up with but devoted to explaining sexual orientation, the issue of being "bi sexual" was dismissed out of hand in a way designed to make the audience laugh.
There was no household with a child who was gender variant or self identified as "transgender". In fact, in various ways parents described their gay and lesbian children as NOT like stereotypical gay men --portrayed as ridiculously effeminate and "limp wristed" and not like "butch" lesbian women. In other words, the parents acceptance of their childrens' sexuality seemed to be predicated on the fact that the children were gay or lesbian but still stereotypically masculine or feminine.
Please understand that I loved this movie. I loved in particular the story of the Poteat family, where theological convictions about the wrongness of the lifestyle of a lesbian daughter struggled alongside a love for that daughter and a commitment to remain in relationship with her. I was moved by the tragic story of the mother whose religious beliefs made it impossible to accept her child's sexual orientation until it was too late. I loved the stories of parents whose gay and lesbian children turned them into amazing activists. I plan to show this movie when it is available on DVD in my congregation. I have recommended it to friends. But even though it seems too controversial for many PBS stations, it was a reminder to me of how much work we, as a church, have yet to do.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I just sent out a new e-mail, artfully formatted, in the hopes that it will facilitate better communication in the congregation. On my grumbly days I feel that we don't have a communication problem, we have a listening problem or a reading problem. I just grumbled to someone at the Y that the meeting she was asking me if I planned to attend was one I never had heard of before. "I sent an email" she replied... Yeah, she probably did and I probably didn't read it or didn't transfer the info to my Palm or didn't synch it or... We all get so much data and have so many options for how to spend out time it is amazing any of us can keep track of anything...
In the email I included a link to this blog and to my shame I see that the last posting was in August. How interesting is that?
Since then we've had opening day, two "Children in Church"Sundays (or squirmy Sundays as some of our parishioners say), over a month of 9 a.m. "Life up Your Hearts", two Christian Education suppers in our talking about money series "The M Word". We've had a gifts discernment workshop, several meetings of our youth groups, two stewardship meetings, several choir rehearsals and much more.
Here is how The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori closed her webcast today:
One of my predecessors was fond of saying, "in this church there will be no outcasts." I concur, and I challenge each one of us to consider who it is we would most like to be rid of. That person, my friends, is the image of Christ in our midst. There will be no outcasts in this church, whether because of sexual orientation or theological perspective. God has given us to each other, to love and to learn from each other. May God bless each and every part of this body.
If you missed it (I did) I think you can watch it here .
Posted by Lydia Agnew Speller at 7:12 PM