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Topic: Affirmations....

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Subject: Affirmations....
Date Posted: 8/19/2007 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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I know that a majority of churchces shun (a polite way of saying the crap some of them spew)  the GLBT community, and even those claiming to be affimring, really aren't.  So DH and I are sooooooo happy to have found one that truly is open and affirming. 

Last night's service was lead by the musical group 3.12.  http://www.threetwelve.net/.  they are a great group spreading love and understanding to and from the GLBT community.  As part of the service we read aloud these 10 Affirmations, which while Christian centered, really should be life affirmations for everyone, regardless of relgion!  I hope you don't mind me sharing them here.

  • We celebrate the unity we create inthe midst of our diversity
  • We affirm the inherent beauty, worht and dignity of every GLBT and straight person
  • There are many paths to the scred. The spiritual paths of the GLBT persons are among them
  • The choice is not whether to be GLBT or straight, but whether or not to live an authentic life
  • Coming out is a courageous and spiritual act
  • Sexual expression is one of hte many sacred ways that GLBT and straight adults can express the depth of love in their relationships
  • We support each person's journey of integrating spirituality and sexuality which leads to wholeness
  • Marriage is a secred union for two people who are committed to each other without regard to gender. Love makes a family
  • Spiritual leaders must take responsibilty to lead, protect, and affirm GLBT people: children, adults and their families
  • No One is free when others are oppressed

Peace you all!

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 1,023
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Sam that is so cool!  In the five years that DP & I have been together, there are at least 3 churches that are definitely open & affirming, one even has a gay minister!!  For this area that I live in, that is incrediably amazing.  In fact, I'm becoming the part-time church secretary for one of the churches - my friend is the pastor of it & her secretary is taking a leave of absence, so she asked me.  If her church weren't open/affirming I wouldn't work there - I'm very open about who I.

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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That's great Mary!  Around here, there are very few; and I've found that many (that I'm familiar with) that say thay are open to diversity haven't ever really reached out to a diverse community :) 

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 269
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This may not be a popular opinion but I don't like when people feel the need to label everything.  I think it creates an us v them even when it is inclusive...some of the things said were wonderful don't get me wrong but why the need to separate out GLBT from straight people?  Why not just people?  By performing GLBT weddings or preaching tolerance and love you can be inclusive without having to label.  Why couldn't it be:

  • We celebrate the unity we create in the midst of our diversity
  • We affirm the inherent beauty, worth and dignity of every person
  • There are many paths to the sacred. The spiritual paths of  all persons are among them
  • The choice is not whether to be GLBT or straight, but whether or not to live an authentic life
  • Sexual expression is one of the many sacred ways that adults can express the depth of love in their relationships
  • We support each person's journey of integrating spirituality and sexuality which leads to wholeness
  • Marriage is a sacred union for two people who are committed to each other without regard to gender. Love makes a family
  • Spiritual leaders must take responsibilty to lead, protect, and affirm children, adults and their families
  • No One is free when others are oppressed

I personally love the last line.  I think it says it all.  I also want to point out again that while my opinion might not be popular I do agree that the things said were lovely and impressive for a church...I just don't happen to agree with churches preaching agendas one way or the other.  When we speak of tolerance it should be for all...no need to spell out who it is for because inevitable someone is left out.   (bracing myself to be slammed after I submit this )

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 94
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You make good points.

I especially like:

"I don't like when people feel the need to label everything.  I think it creates an us v them..."

"When we speak of tolerance it should be for all...no need to spell out who it is for because inevitable someone is left out."

 

 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Heidi I agree with you in principle.  I think the point, though, is acknowledging that this group has been shunned and left out for so many years.  It's a celebration, of sorts. Society isn't at the pint yet, where inherent acceptance is the rule - you sort of have to speall it out for the daft among us.   Plus, churches that are welcoming make a point of advertizing it so that members of the GLBT community can find them.  I have been lucky in that all of the UU churches I attended were welcoming.  Others have said they found UU churches which weren't, which totally goes against our principles and practices.  I find that pretty disturbing.

Sorry if this is sort of rambling...I'm pooped!

 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 1,023
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We have a church in this area that does TV advertising - very nicely done, they talk about being diverse yadda yadda - they even talk about divorce people, but DP & I just look at each other & know that they aren't as diverse as they proclaim - dollars to donuts they aren't so inclusive as to include GLBT.

L - are you talking about Universalist churches?  If so, that's one of the 3 in the area that are confirmed open/affirming.

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 6:15 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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I agree Heidi & L.  I wish we lived in a world where we could just say respect each other..... and that did mean everyone.  Like, Mary's example, I've seen churches claim diversity.... but really werent (and not just GLBT, but racially and other ways to).  I'm the one that had a non-open UU church.  With all UU churches they were "open" but  they didn't appear as such.... but then again I was spoiled by the previous UU church were GLBT weddings and anniversaries were part of Sunday services, and  there were equal number GLBT and straight families.  I posted cause I was excited to find a church that was as open as one I regretted leaving (we moved).  I will mention to our minister that if we do the affirmations again (and I think we should) that it just be general inclussiveness for everyone, like Heidi wrote out.  The ones I posted were part of a GLBT  healing in faith service,

As a "straightie" I really don't mean to offend anyone :)

Peace!

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 269
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What you wrote wasn't offensive....it was lovely.  I even understand the principle of including it.  My opinion is though that when you start putting labels on things people get left out.  There is a church near me that is very inclusive and it is actually driving some people away because they're members are also bringing politics into the church.  While it is nice to see they want to be involved they are turning off open minded individuals who want to be a part of a diverse congregation but feel uncomfortable with the political climate of the church.  Its sad.  On the flip side there is another church that is also very inclusive and open but they leave the politics and labeling at the door, they don't advertise, and they preach non-specific tolerance.  They have a very large positive congregation that people find out about through word of mouth.

Date Posted: 8/25/2007 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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Just my two cents worth. I was raised in the Methodist church, but have been to other churches(Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, etc) because we moved around due to my father's job. As a youngster (not very young now, smile), I noticed how hypocritical people were in church, after church and other times. They would talk about what someone was wearing and did you know he was in the bar last night and he is in church today. I became quite disgusted with it all and began following Native American Spirituality (I am 1/8 Cherokee and adopted Ojibwe). This summer I became an ordained minister. I have not decided if I will start my own congregation as of yet. I am able to perform marriage and civil unions in my state and most of the other states in the union unless they have a law against it.

My partner and I have been together since 1998. We were married in a Native American ceremony. As "Two Spirits" we are not ostracized by the majority of Native Americans. We do not hide the fact we live together and when we filled out our insurances for our jobs, we told them we were partners. A few know where we are employed but we don't advertise.

I will be happy to do a ceremony for anyone if they send me a message and we can work out the logistics. I work two jobs and stay pretty busy. Holidays I  am off usually.

Thanks for listening.

Wolf

 

Date Posted: 8/27/2007 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,647
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Many years ago, my husband and I tried to go to a non-denominational church, thinking it would be all inclusive.  Turns out they were against all denominations and just hadn't given themselves a name, but were very much of one specific belief.  It was horrible.  They should have called themselves anti-denominational.  I only went for my husband's benefit, but I truly feel sorry for people who want to experience religion with other people without feeling the need to have to conform to one group's ideals.  It's very hard to find places like that.  In so many churches, if you're not willing to be a lemming, you're an outcast.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/31/2007 5:41 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Mary, I just recehecked this thread.  Universalist churches are similar to, though not exactly  the same as Unitarian-Universalist churches.  The Unitarians joined the Universalists back in the early 1960's IIRC.  The Universalists were the more liberal of the two.