Out of Doubt to Joyful Hope

The way out of winter

My post on Sacred Moments and the need for real apologies to those hurt by the church brought three comments to me. All three came to me personally and thus are off the record.  Here is a brief summary of each comment.

Summary No. 1:  This responder had the temerity to disagree with me, and I like her. She believes a corporate apology could not be meaningful because each person has a mind and a opinion that is unique. She said that an apology may help the church feel better but since 9% of us disagree with the statement an apology would be meaningless, Actions speak louder than words, always, she said. We should just treat everyone kindly and personally apologize if you know you hurt someone.

Sign of Spring along the way

Summary of comment No. 2:  The church’s statement includes a lot of good things, but it stays away from tough matters like marital relationships.  The leaders say that marriage of same sex persons is an optional choice, thus it did not fit in with the “given realities” of birth, national origin, age, etc., on the list. The statement seems an attempt to say something without having the courage to actually say it. Unfortunately, the statement includes two levels: full participants and members. The responder shared the statement with some lesbian friends and they immediately saw it as being too weak to be meaningful.

Summary of third comment:  This third responder observes that the gift of prophecy is not needed to hypothesize the results of the CMC process.  The few who are strongly opposed and cannot adjust to the majority’s thinking will be marginalized and will soon move on to other churches.

These comments put a burden on me that I carried to the Palm Sunday service. Though the theme of this service was Restoration of Hope, the moving message could not lift the burden of these responses.  I encourage you to click here and scroll 45 minutes into the service to hear the sermon.

The way to Hope and joy

Still burdened, I rose from my seat and turned toward the exit.  What I saw lifted my burden and gave me hope. I saw parents whom I knew to have a lesbian daughter who felt rejected by the church.  As I approached them I was introduced to a lesbian couple who introduced themselves to me as husband and wife.

My burden was lifted, my hope was restored as I cried literal tears of joy as I welcomed the couple with hugs.

doubtful questioning
despairing my hope renewed
joyful hope  and  peace 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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2 Responses to Out of Doubt to Joyful Hope

  1. Your honesty and openness are greatly appreciated.

  2. Martin, again your comments are appreciated and helpful. With you I want to live in hope and honesty. I look forward to your posts.! blessings for your day! your friend David Helmuth

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