I finally gathered up enough gumption to watch the church service the morning of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, 12 June 2016. It was mentioned to me, through an argument, that there was a mention of the victims and a prayer for them and their families. Yeah, not really. The event itself was not mentioned by name and the victims were not mentioned as being part of the LGTBQ family. Lady, you downright fibbed to me. Here is the part she was talking about:
Yes, I only included the audio, as the video is not the best and we really don’t need to see what the pastor looks like. In all fairness, I listened and watched the service from the following week, but alas, there was nothing. Well, I should not be too upset, as the fires in Fort McMurray were still raging and it was Father’s Day. Then I remembered, some of the fathers of those killed will never see their children again. Some of the men at Pulse were fathers, they would never see their children again. Some of the women killed at Pulse may have had children. Though these women may not be fathers, the children are without mothers.
I forced myself to watch this commentary after listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint. I read the book last year and was mesmerised, so I decided to listen to Ms Bolz-Weber’s narration on the trip to Vancouver. I was still going to church at this time I read the book and discovered a strong urge to kick love back into the church I was going to; the one this audio quote comes from. Hearing the blasé attitude, but genuine condolence, I was reminded there is such a long way to go for acceptance. I mentioned on Facebook (after posting a story about the limited acceptance of LGBTQ people in the “church”) that if it were up to one of the pastors in town, I would not be allowed to enter the building in which he preaches. The clip I have posted here alludes to my point. I had to edit some parts of the sermon, as they were rambly; bigly. The whole thing is also twenty-eight minutes long. (Reference to 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.c]”>[c] 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
There was a rebuttal the next week, but in allness, the damage was already done. When this was preached 12 October 2014, I was still grasping at what I was all about. I came out as bisexual the day of the shootings in Orlando, one year and eight months after this speech was given. I was fuming. My heart ached with the realisation the kids and adults who are silently identifying as lesbian, or gay, or bisexual, or transgender, or questioning, would not be welcomed in this place. They are to be turned away for the sake of the “church”. Do they turn away those who have been divorced? Do they turn away those who watch pornography? According to the sermon by this pastor, the church should be empty.
Maybe I am still looking for a reason for God? Then again, I will still find the same thing. People like me are not welcome here. I have found an ally; however, she is in a difficult place as well. We cannot talk to each other about our situations over a cup of coffee at the café. She says people here are scared. Scared of what? I know most of the people in Waldheim are not scared of Halloween, but they have an annoying habit of starting their candy hunt at three bloody thirty in the afternoon.
I am wailing over the same thing, and I am guessing you are getting tired of it. Lately, everything I read, see and listen to reminds me of the element I am missing. God is still here, only I need to look again.The other side of my brain says “no, Wendy, it is a creation by humans in order to explain the unexplainable.” You should be in the same room when I have this “discussion”, it is rather sad. I accept others and their beliefs in a deity, as my husband is a believer. There are progressive churches in Saskatoon and Regina, I know there are. Mennonite Central – the Saskatchewan version – is not quite ready. There was a gay couple married in the Osler Mennonite Church, so there is a hope, there is a light. I don’t want to say this, but Waldheim needs a good ol’ Enlightenment.
I will get right on that after I get my crafting table put together. I am tired and the town is tired. Mind you, it may be worth having another conversation with those who make the deals with God.
By the way Halloweeners, we don’t get home until 6.00pm, and don’t bother to sit on the front step when we get home; there will be nothing here for you.
(1) Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church, 12 Jun. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(2) Campo-Flores, Arian. “Friends, Family Gather to Mourn Orlando Shooting Victims.” WSJ. Wsj.com, 19 June 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
(3) “How to Deal with Problems” Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church. 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.