I’d like to share a few additional items related to yesterday’s letter:
I emailed my letter to Terry Shue and Ervin Stutzman before I posted it on my blog. Almost immediately, I received a response from Terry, which I deeply appreciate. It was clear that he “heard” my letter. It was also clear that this is not an easy time for him or others in MCUSA leadership (and if I had to guess, I would say that it will get harder before it gets easier). These people are my sisters and brothers. Occasionally I even know them personally. They love the Mennonite Church, just as I do. They are in my prayers. I hope that any MCUSA leader who reads my blog will understand this.
Nevertheless, I think that they have acted inappropriately, so I will try to disagree in love.
A friend reminded me today of another unfortunate statement in the Mennonite recently. In an editorial, Everett Thomas quotes Ervin Stutzman’s report to the MCUSA Executive Board:
The experience of Pink Mennos at Columbus in 2009, introduced a new level of engagement in controversial matters. … The techniques of social advocacy and confrontation that we have taught young adults in our schools has come to haunt our church’s most visible gathering, to the end that convention-goers feel immense pressure to take up sides against one another on [homosexuality].
[For more information about what happened in Columbus, see the July 7, 2009, issue of The Mennonite.]
I sincerely hope that this choice of words was an unfortunate oversight. But it is hurtful. “Haunt” sounds like a word that was intended to bring shame. I tend to think that “beautiful” would be a better description of the glimpses of pink all around Columbus.
I’d like to suggest some additional resources. If you either…
1) Would like to know more about how to make MCUSA a welcoming place for all, or…
2) Disagree with my beliefs, but think that dialogue is important (and believe that authentic dialogue only occurs when you understand the other person)…
… then I would suggest that you visit some of these websites:
- Pink Menno (and take note of the ‘Letter of Lament‘)
- An Open Letter to the Goshen College Community
- An Open Letter to MCUSA
- MennoNeighbors mailing list
- The Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests
- Gay Mennonite