You have value. You are loved.

Yesterday it was announced that the organization I belong to, Northwest Yearly Meeting, through our Council of Elders has asked West Hills Friends Church to leave our Yearly Meeting, because their affirmation of committed same sex relationships is a  diversity of thought that our Yearly Meeting is “unable to embrace”.

I am not writing today about affiliations, theology, or beliefs.

Today I am writing about and to people. People connected to Northwest Yearly Meeting who (publicly or silently) identify as LGBTQ. AJ Mendoza has reminded me of the fear, pain, shock, terror and perhaps even self-loathing that you may be feeling.

I’m writing to say that God loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). I’m writing to say that nothing in all of creation can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). I’m writing to say the Holy Spirit, the God of all Comfort, has comforted me in my times of deep distress, and I believe will comfort you in your times of anguish (2 Corinthians 1:3).

I’m writing to say that there are people who love you and who want to stay in relationship with you. I’m writing to say that I for one am able to embrace you and be your friend.

I’m writing to say that if you are in a point of darkness today, please do not battle it alone. I hope that you know someone in your community who is safe to talk to. If you don’t, please email me (gregg@newbergfriends.org) so that I can be a resource to help you find a safe person. I’m writing to ask you to find someone safe and pour out your feelings, and let a flesh and blood person be a vehicle of God’s love to you today. You are loved and valuable, and I want you to know that today.

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14 thoughts on “You have value. You are loved.

  1. As having served as a Representative from WCFC this year, & having attended all the business meetings, this came as quite a surprise when I first saw it on face book this morning. I knew that there was “talk” of possibilities, but that’s all I’d heard. As we were talking the other day, we know some of these people, they are loved by God and He is capable of miracles. These people at West Hills DO NEED TO KNOW that they are loved. More power to you in helping to meet their needs.

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  3. Thank you Greg, for sharing this. Your words speak the heart that feel in Christ. How I wish we could all know that love and grace and especially that we could always show it to one another.

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  5. Yes, I agree with all these messages. Greg, your heart (put into words) communicates to me the same heart that I feel, myself, for the disenfranchised in one form or another…and I end up feeling that there IS no other Gospel but this one. Thank you for being so open and loving.

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  6. I just had one afterthought perhaps worth sharing: as needed, I hope that those who are feeling cut out (or mowed down) by this news will also know that this terrible, character-forming stuff of life can help them to have a heart broken open to the need of helping others who are disenfranchised too. There is no reason that we gay people can’t be all about working toward racial justice, interfaith freedom, or any number of other deep concerns that this stuff opens us for us, individually and collectively.

    I know that people are hurt, themselves, and may feel extremely oppressed and betrayed by NWYM. That is NOT something I want to brush aside. But if you find that it gives you more light and more grace to share with others, that you have been through this, it will not be simply a wretched betrayal but a chance for you to keep breathing in and out GRACE and LIGHT, no matter what “the world” does. Thank you, in advance, for accepting whatever light and inner action the Spirit gives you on this count, because we need you!

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  7. It is indeed a sad commentary on the state of Christianity that portions of Christendom are unable to fully grasp the immense span of God’s love; yet the secular world is now able to grasp it. When the Light of Christ is unable to break through to God’s so-called people, it will still break through by any means possible. It is John Woolman who said, “There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names. It is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever they become brethren.” Thank God that where Christendom is failing the disenfranchised, the secular world is stepping in by recognizing their worth as God created them. God will prevail, even if his so-called people will not embrace his immense love.

    It is 2015 and by now we should know better. No one should feel less than whole or unvalued because they are different from most people around them. We have a choice before us as spiritually-minded people to either worship an idol or to love as Christ loves. Have we not yet learned by our mistakes from the past that using the Bible to entrench a system of disenfranchisement is turning that inspirational work into an idol which demands unloving acts from us? As with all idols, doing so will lead us from the Spirit of Truth that was so exemplified in the person of Jesus.

    Friends, if are to err, let us always err on the side of unconditional love; not on the side of idolizing something we know has many interpretations and that has been used so effectively in the past to stymie the Holy Spirit.

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  9. I am also thinking about Hobson and Douglas learning to work together in a new way in Chehalem Monthly Meeting, following the movement of the Holy Spirit, recognizing the presence of God in the new ways, seeking Jesus in the new land.

    God bless and keep you all.

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