I am still United Methodist because the hope has not left me. I find hope and possibility in the radical Wesleyan theology of grace as a journey, as a means of experiencing God in creation, and the community I have found through my faith. I am more than just my faith, but yet, it’s always with me as I go.
This morning I am writing from Seattle, after a semi-full night’s sleep in my own bed. I am sitting with a classmate who greeting me with a long hug and support, now I sit beside her support her as she practices her final M.Div synthesis project. We are in our Tuesday morning spot, Caffe Presse, and the sun is shining. The morning light reveals a broken church that matches my not hidden broken humanity. As a few tears fell as I drove to school, I focused on hope.
The above picture is of me and my former youth pastor, ex-boss, mentor, and good friend, Patrick. For years, Patrick has actually been one of the reasons I have stayed. The past 15 years have been trying for me to remained United Methodist and he has been there, helping me to process and theologically reflect. Patrick gives me hope (and he’s not going to let e forget that).
I find hope in Sara and Kevin (shown below a few days ago), who are my Methodist small group although by text chain because we all live in different cities. Their dedication to the church through mission, outreach, and justice soothes me and lifts my spirit. It is Sara who I room with, though Kevin is always hanging out. These are my people.
For Chett who is one of my rocks and always has my best interests at heart. Because of that fateful car ride and the Donner Party, I am at this point in my faith journey today and I am still committed to justice, more than I ever thought possible.
Weirdly enough, I find hope in forming new relationships. Meeting Jeremy of Hacking Christianity and having another person who appreciates my sense of humor and fashion. Having Joey pull me aside when angry walking to spin me around a makeshift ballroom. My new MFSA board member friends who I just met months ago, yet feel like I’ve known them for years, they check in with me and make sure I am grounded. Then to my new friend, Jacob who has reminded me why I carry a pen, you never know when someone can show you humanity when you need it. Then to my new repro colleagues, Mollie and Katey. I am not alone in my passion and I know I will not spend the next four years (or two) alone in speaking prophetically.
Hope abounds in brokenness. My humanity may be broken, but it’s not beyond healing.
One last story about my new friend, who I’m going to not name. She sat by me during a particularly bad part of Church & Society B’s committee. There was a point where it wasn’t healthy of her to be in the room and she left quickly, leaving behind her deaconess pin. I picked it up, knowing that she was about to be consecrated and that I am slowing trying on becoming a deaconess for size. I had her pin in my laptop bag, and I saw her the next day. I stopped her and said, I have this for you. She looked at me in surprise, the pin had represented her faith in the church and she had dropped it, yet I had carried it for her when she had felt like she lost it. That’s hope. I am sure one day, she will hold my hope for me.
If you pray, please pray for us. That hope and possibility are illuminated on this new day.