Alka's Angle March 5, 2019

Dear Broadway Family,

     Beloveds, as some of you know, the special called General Conference of UMC just ended, and ended on a horrible note -- supporting a plan that is plain evil -- it is much more punitive and tighter! I also want to say that it is not final yet! It has been sent to the Judicial Council (church court) for constitutionality. The JC will meet in April to determine and give us their verdict. But, the reality is that the denomination has once again failed us!

     One of the narratives that has been going around, in the wake of GC2019, is blaming the decision on the Central Conference delegates. While they may have contributed to the outcome, I want to remind us that they were not solely responsible for it! Because, if that were true, then our trans and queer siblings would not be discriminated against, here in the US. We would have open welcome to all queer persons, and we would have churches willing to accept queer pastors and conferences wiling to ordain queer persons. Now, we know that some conferences have been brave and done that, but most of US does not allow it! So, to transfer the blame on African delegates is just that -- transferring the blame, without owning the truth! Because the truth is, as Dr. Pamela Lightsey noted in one of her many comments, “The work was done decades before. Colonialism with its insertion of biblical literalism/fundamentalism and paternalism came to GC2019, took a seat on the conference floor and spoke its mind.” So, pay attention dear ones, to those among us who only know how to divide and rule. Let us stay awake -- wide awake!

     "So, now what?" That is another big question! My answer is -- I don't know yet! It is too soon to decide-now what! There are still many variables. There are still many unanswered questions. One thing is clear. United Methodism as we knew it is dead! So, let us allow some time to sit with this grief, to get past the numbness that many of us have felt, before we take next steps. Stay engaged! There is a lot of work to do, so let us not haste. 

     I also want to say -- I couldn’t be more grateful to be a pastor at Broadway UMC. I know we have not had the best time together in these past four years, but I am absolutely humbled by the outpouring of love, support for the work, and affirmation of my ministry. You have stepped up the game. You have given your time. You have supported my decisions. You have protected me like a shield.

     So here is what I say -- Thank you! I love you all! Let us keep up the good work. Let us continue to be the church, on the corner of Broadway and Buckingham, where LGBTQIA folx are celebrated and welcomed, as much as heterosexual people, where all abilities, all races, all nationalities and all colors are welcomed with open arms.

     Let us be the church where the love of God is lived out and the welcome of Jesus is proclaimed!  And remember, I am always your partner in justice!

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