Yes, after my traumatic last post I wrote this one on Word, saved it a few times, copied it into my blog and did the links right before I made it public. Thanks for the outcry of love after my hard lesson learned in blogging!
After finally creating this blog I have also learned a few things that have taken me by surprise. One: I actually love it! I totally thought I was going to hate it and it was just going to add another deadline or some type of self-fulfilling pressure to produce something creative. Far be it for any of that. It’s like my own personal, yet ironically public, theological reflections of all facets of my life and work. I’ve never been one to journal, and if this is the refreshing feeling that many journaling folks get – than give me some of that good stuff! And two: I now walk around my daily life and whenever something curious happens to me I think, “hum, that’s a blog post.” Isn’t it just so funny how things like blogs can infiltrate and permeate not only mainstream, but Christian culture. So strange. So ironic. I guess we all have to thank Al Gore for creating the internet so we can enjoy hours of fun each day! (Ok, that’s me being totally sarcastic). :)
Back to the first Coalition event in Southern California. Just a side note – even though it’s been a full 6 days since I lost my heart-felt post about that unreal day, I’m still bitter because I poured my soul into that post and I’m convinced that whatever I write will pale in comparison to that original, in-the-moment reaction. Enough of my personal pity-party though:
That first event was unreal. If there would have been a best case scenario in my head before everything commenced, it played out as great as I could have hoped for. I first have to give a huge shout to Dave Gibbons, Ed Salas and the whole team over at Newsong Church in Irvine. What first class people, facilities and food!!! The tone was set right from the moment people walked in, and they represented The Coalition and the topic of gay, Christian, and Gay Christian with the intentionality, care and passion that it deserves.
In attendance were some really heavy-hitters from Southern California including pastors from some really well known mega-churches, area directors of national Christian organizations, executive committee members from Christian denominations and leaders from the local communities and universities. But regardless of the stature of some of those who were there, none were able to escape from the real and raw emotion that happened that day. The stories, the lives and the tears were flowing as we together were able to listen and learn our way through this new issue that many in attendance have never breached. Sure, there was some pushback, but only by means to try to truly grasp what it tangibly means to build a bridge with gays and lesbians coming from a conservative perspective. And to that, what more could you ask?
One Love. One Church. One God. I’m encouraged, but just not encouraged – excited, because I see the Lord moving and working in areas no one ever thought possible. I can only pray that one day each of you will be able to experience such a revival of unique bridge building reconciliation in your city. The Coalition is on the move, and let’s get it done in your local community! And if you’re looking for another unique perspective on what happened that day, check this out. Becky – love you so much. If nothing else happened in my life with The Marin Foundation other than being able to meet you and Eric; it was all worth it: the pain, joy, insecurities, doubts, fears and unbridled uncertainty of what will happen in all of our lives. John – I told you what you and UYWI have meant to me over the years. And many times over again you personally stuck your neck out for me, for The Marin Foundation and for this topic to be pushed to the forefront. You didn’t have to do any of that, but not only so, you continue to be my backbone reppin’ Cali. To my dying day am I privileged to call you all best friends.
Oh yeah – do you want to hear some crazy news I just found out yesterday? The Coalition just got some serious backing with endorsements for our Southern California Bridge Building Series event #2 for the inclusive pastors and churches from a few big name GLBT leaders ... names to follow soon when it becomes public.
And SO MANY thought that conservative evangelicals could never peacefully and productively reach out to, and work with the ‘big name’ GLBT community? And the GLBT community never thought that they could never peacefully and productively reach out to, and work with ‘big name’ evangelicals? Wrong my friends. The time is now. Together.