Archive for the ‘journeys’ Category
As we plan our trip over the next few months, we want to make sure that we make as many community connections as possible, so that our work may continue after we are gone. So if you know anybody near to the following campuses, let me know by emailing me at email@example.com
Mar.5–Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA
Mar.9–Houghton College, Houghton, NY
Mar.15–Oakwood University, Hunsville, AL
Mar.17–Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
Mar.18–Campbell University, Bules Creek, NC
Mar.22–Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL
Mar.25–Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
Mar.29–Belhaven College, Jackson, MS
Mar.30–Mississippi College, Clinton, MS
Apr.6–Baylor University, Waco, TX
Apr.8–Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, TX
Apr.9–Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX
Apr.14–Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, MO
Apr.16–Union College, Lincoln, NE
Apr.21–Bethel College, Mishawaka, IN
Apr.23–Malone University, Canton, OH
Shalom my dearest Friends,
Most of you have heard me rambling about the Equality Ride for the last few months, and now with the beginning of my training in Austin, Tejas, this week you can be sure to hear about it even more. While the weather down here isn’t quite as warm as I expected, the awesome people that have come into my life have more than made up for that. We all come from many different places but come to common ground forming a beautiful rainbow of humanity.
Today has been jampacked with all sorts of stuff that while overwhelming at times is also energizing. From going over the Ride’s route to reviewing the themes of justice in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, one can see the Spirit at work. I feel strongly identified with the words of the Prophet Isaiah that Jesus quoted in Nazareth, “The Spirit…has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” That is the work that we will be engaged in for this Ride. So many queer-folk are imprisoned and oppressed, and we all have an obligation to work for the change that Jesus proclaimed.
The route was shared with us today which includes schools in Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, and many more faith traditions. Included amongst this list is Houghton College, the school that I attended for several years. From my experiences I know that this campus is in desperate need of message of Equality. Cisgenderism and heterosexism have no place on a campus professing the Christian Gospel. However, I do recognize that the presence of these attitudes are merely due to the fact that many just have never experienced these minorities, and that with acquaintance will eventually come acceptance and affirmation. This is what gives me hope, and I know that Houghton and the many other colleges on our journey can change if we give them opportunity to.
In the coming months, I hope to share much more with you about the wonderful work that I will be doing. My blog, https://thewayfarerscreed.wordpress.com, will hopefully be a place that I can share with you, and I hope to communicate in other ways as well.
And finally, I must make the plug for financial support. All projects require money as we all know, and the Equality Ride is no different. For every Rider, we must raise $3500. While this may seem a bit intimidating and a bit like one cannot make a dent in that, the reality is that every little bit counts. Even if you can only contribute a single dollar, that dollar will send ripples through the lives of countless individuals. To help out in this way I’d ask you to go to http://www.soulforce.org/andrew to find out how to contribute. And if you decide that you are not able to contribute in this way, I’d like to also let you know that there will most likely be opportunities for you to physically stand with us at Houghton.
Thank you for all the support that you have already given to me, and I thank you for all the prayers and support that I know you will continue to give me in the coming months.
Peace & Rainbows 🙂
I came upon this post a few days ago discussing the actual color of the universe. It isn’t black as you might think upon casual observance. It’s actually a whitish color. While thinking about this, my mind drifted into the spiritual realm as it often does. This can’t just be a scientific observation. It must mean something! Or at least I can wrench some sort of metaphor out of it, and I did.
In our lives, we experience so much suffering and so much pain. Throughout history, we have tried to explain this, sometimes more successfully than others. Well here is a new metaphor for our scientific age. Because of our limited senses we do not see light that has shifted out of our visible spectrum. It is still light, but our experience of it is not. Perhaps, we can think of our life experiences in such a manner. All experiences contribute to who we are and are thus light, even if we cannot figure out how. I know for certain that if I didn’t have a certain “darkness” in my life, I would never have met one of my good friends of today. Think about how this image can help you out in your life.
Not sure who actually came up with this, since Bokonon is the fictional religion developed by Kurt Vonnegut, but I have to say that I really like the image. The road and the journey are often symbols of spiritual life, ones that I often invoke. But I feel that the journey is just as important as the destination. Much of popular contemporary Christianity is devoted to being saved. In other words, the only thing that matters is the eternal life guaranteed to us at the end of the journey. I haven’t believed this though for quite some time now. And I feel like this wise image might be a better way to express what life is, not a journey but a garden.
Look out for this movie, Prayers for Bobby, over the next few days on Lifetime. It promises to be a very good one, at least I know that it’s a very well told story in book form, tragic and moving as it is. For the queer community it gives a glimpse of hope that even most hardened individual can come around to acceptance, while for those closed to acceptance can see the very real consequences of rejecting the ones they love for something they can’t change. Hopefully, I myself will be able to watch it. They’re showing it tonight at 9pm and 11pm, then on Sunday at 8pm and then on Tuesday at 9pm.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.”
For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”
Above are two excerpts from the most influential creeds of Christianity; the Apostle’s and the Nicene. Both excerpts deal with the Godly person of Jesus. There is something very important missing from these creeds. What is it? The 30 something years of the life and ministry of Jesus, that’s what’s missing. What the Christ did while living among us is just as important as his death and resurrection. In his life, we see how we are to live our lives, which is just as important as some “salvation” that has no affect on how we live. This is the theology of the comma, the commas of the creeds. And it is this that I have discovered is the real distinctive of the Mennonite Church. Yes, we’re pacifists and million other things. But above all it is this focus on the human ministry of Christ that makes us Mennonites. And it is this focus that makes us adopt all those other things that people know about us (or think they know about us). This may not have been the specific thing that drew me into the Mennonite Church in the last year, but it is the thing that supported what did draw me into the Church. And as I spend more time dwelling on the theology of the comma, I realize I am in the right place.
Been going to a psychologist the past couple of weeks to get some of my issues sorted out. And she’s put me through a Rorschah inkblot test, the TOVA, an MMPI, and I got my diagnosis today! Apparently I am so blessed as to have ADHD and clinical depression wrapped into one. While I don’t like the results, it is I guess a bit of a relief to know what specifically is wrong. Of course now we have to treat which makes me very leary. She has suggested medication which I don’t really want to do. Honestly, I’m afraid of what might happen. The medications that treat these things are not exactly known as being the safest things and then I have a fear that I might lose myself in the process. Anybody ever read the play Equus by Peter Shaffer? It’s this that comes to my mind. The tests show that I am unique. 60% of my respones on the inkblot were not typical. Do I want to be normal? Is it worth it?