Yesterday I witnessed and experienced a kind of trauma. My beloved denomination is at an impasse. For the last 4 days delegates from all over the world convened in St. Louis to decide the position of the United Methodist Church concerning human sexuality. 55% of the delegates voted to exclude those in the LGBTQ community and 45% voted to include all God’s children unconditionally into our church.
As someone who sides with the minority, I experience great grief at how United Methodist’s define themselves and their beliefs. I am ashamed to call myself a United Methodist. That causes me great grief because I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my identity.
This blow is the most difficult thing I’ve had to face in my 22 months of sobriety. Goodness gracious how I wish I could join my colleagues and commiserate over a few bottles of wine. How I wish I could smoke a bowl and let the stress and anxiety fall away and give me some respite. But alas, I’m living a new life now and that is not how I respond to life on life’s terms.
So, the past few days have been filled with calls to my sponsor, an appointment with my spiritual director and meetings. Last night I entered a room filled with old-farts and the smell of bad coffee and I listened to what these men had to say about faith. Little did they know the hurt and heartache I brought in, little did they know that I was experiencing a crisis of faith, little did they know how much I needed to be reminded about the healing power of faith.
And I realized once again, this is church. Just like those old-farts were waiting for me to come and share bad coffee along with our deepest desire to stay sober, my local church waits for anyone to come in share some not so bad coffee and our deepest desire to know love and share love.
Once again, I’m reminded AA is church and church is AA.