Prayed through the nights, felt so alone.
Suffered from alienation, carried the weight on my own.
Had to be strong, so I believed.
And now I know I’ve succeeded, in finding the place I conceived.
I had a vision of love, and it was all that you’ve given to me.
I had a vision of love, and it was all that you’ve given me.
c. Carey, M. & Margulies, B.
At some point, vision boards, then action boards, replaced resolutions. I sort of noticed, but when you’re still not sure what you’re supposed to be (if and when you ever grow up) in the broadest sense, breaking it down into smaller pieces just does not seem worthwhile.
I graduated from seminary in 2011, and if you had asked me 4 years ago where I’d be today, I would have answered that I’d be pastoring a small congregation. I’d be doing a lot of pastoral care, and I’d be active in social justice. I would have a blog.
It’s 2014; I have a blog. I find myself doing a lot of pastoral care, much of it online. Social justice is still important to me, and my activism has taken a different form than I imagined, but I like it. That pastoring a church thing still gnaws at me, however.
I was alienated from church, no, it was worse than that; I was alienated from Christ, for many years because of my sexual orientation. I entered seminary with the spirit part and the higher power part, but not the Christ part. I left with the Holy Spirit, the God, and the Jesus. Not as much Jesus as most of those in seminary with me, but with Jesus nonetheless.
Due to a brutal internship, however, I left without the church. After being hurt by “the” church growing up (not good enough, a sinner condemned to hell no matter what, then condemned due to my orientation), I naively thought those days were behind me. The final crushing blow of my internship came when the supervising minister e-mailed me after my performance evaluation and told me I should not come to church the next Sunday or ever again.
The next Sunday was Easter Sunday.
I don’t know how you tell anyone the doors to the church are closed to him or her on Easter Sunday, of all Sundays.
It was not immediate, but i subsequently took myself off the ordination track lest another train run me over.
“They” (church “uppers,” seminary professors, ordained ministers) talk about how the process of “discernment” ensures a candidate knows what he or she is getting into and helps the denomination ensure that only those truly suited for ministry are ordained. “They” do not talk about the possibility of one person, imperfectly placed, being able to ruin the chances for someone who may be suited.
The time has come to get this train back on track. I don’t need a resolution, a vision board, or an action board to tell me this. The call that was put on my heart in December 2002 is still there. I am meant to preach and teach; my voice is meant to be heard – I am meant to lead change. I will do so with church as a verb. Coming soon to a station near you.
I have a vision of love.