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Lift as you climb

Someone was remarked, "There sure are a lot of links in your blog posts, Pastor Dave."

Yep. Often those links offer a way to further explore an organization, an event, etc. Sometimes the link is to encourage you to read a full statement or article. And then other times the link is to amplify someone's voice, especially when that someone is not as likely to gain as wide an audience as a straight, cisgendered, white, Christian man (like me). I need to do more of that.

Today, it's all of the above plus and opportunity to brag (with permission) about a member of our faith community who grew up in our children and youth ministries. (We need to do more of this kind of amplifying as well.)

This week, Marisa McGinty got a piece she wrote published on the website The Mighty. We all should read it...and keep reading it until all our neighbors experiencing mental illness are treated just like our neighbors experiencing physical illness. Both need treatment and support. 

Here's how Marisa introduced her article on social media:

"I have struggled with anxiety, depression, and a mood disorder for many years and I have always turned to writing to express my thoughts. I am honored to have one of pieces published on The Mighty and would love to share it with all of you. It is important to know no matter what you might be struggling with, you are never alone."

Here's a taste:

Starting a new school, or even a new school year, is a challenge for anyone, but living with a mental illness can make this change even more difficult. Even waking up to go to school every day is a huge challenge, and then the school work and social interactions that come with it. It’s common to feel like you are going through the motions and no one sees you struggling or cares enough to pay attention.

Please read the whole thing. And then find a way to reach out to someone in your circle of influence who is struggling and let them know they are not alone. 

An arresting thought

"Some things are worth losing for."

I was driving, listening to a podcast (my current preferred in-car entertainment) when I heard that statement. It was arresting. Like, literally. I was so struck by that thought that I had to pull over to process it for a moment.

"Some things are worth losing for."

Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of my favorite authors, said that in a conversation with Chris Hayes. With the 2019 Special General Conference* just two months away, those words loom ever larger.

*What's the Special General Conference? We'll offer a series of posts on that very soon.

We believe LGBTQ+ people should have all the rights available to heterosexual, cisgender people both in civil life and in the United Methodist Church. 

We might not get there in 2019. We may even lose some of the gains we've achieved toward inclusion. But if we do, it will be worth it to stand with marginalized people for justice.

This week the Reconciling Ministries Network offered an inspiring statement, "Called, Committed, and Faithful." I recommend you read the whole thing. Here's a taste:

We tirelessly dedicate ourselves to living the reality of our baptismal vows: resisting evil, injustice, and oppression. We do this by seeking justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities....

 

The Scriptures tell us that we love because God first loved us. We are grateful for that surprising, unexpected love that God has graciously offered and for the many ways we experience that love first-hand through the lives and stories of so many who have been part of the Reconciling family and movement within our beloved Church. Those stories have made The United Methodist Church stronger and more vibrant across our great connection...

 

We witness the lives of many of our friends who have not felt welcome inside the doors of United Methodist churches. Their calling, their ministry, and even their baptism have been questioned. But we still believe in the best of what The United Methodist Church can be: a movement where social and personal holiness blossom in a wide variety of contexts including in communities outside of the United States.

 

We have much to learn together.

 

Posted by Pastor Dave Buerstetta with

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