Faith Stories: Sharing Faith Truthfully in Community
Faith stories are often moving and endearing. I have such stories myself, but this is not one of them.
Bill and I have a dear friend who is gay and married. A colleague explained that he no longer participates in his childhood faith tradition because there is no place for him there if he is honestly who he is. Their lives seem to have the same joys and struggles as anyone. I feel fortunate to have such fine people as friends.
As a result of the dialogue on same sex marriage, I am faced with this ethical and spiritual quandary: the United Methodist Book of Discipline forbids clergy from performing same sex marriage inside or outside the church. I considered dropping my membership as I cannot affirm a stand that is contrary to my faith in the message of Jesus to be inclusive and open or a faith that prevents committed relations and faith struggles on the basis of biology.
On the other hand, I value the St. John’s faith community and the opportunity to struggle in my faith journey with others who share their faith struggles and experiences with me. I value the learning opportunities in Bible study. These things lead me to understand more about Jesus and our faith tradition. I have grown in my faith in part as a result of my membership at St. John’s.
Like Zooey Deschanel sings, “We all go through it together, but we all go at it alone.” So here’s my faith story: I feel I am called to speak my faith truthfully and am glad that others share their faith journey truthfully. I value my membership and the community. For me, faith journey is not always clear sailing. I have faith that individuals sharing their story will lead us individually and our institutions closer to the will of God.