FOR ALL THE QUEER SAINTS OUTSIDE THE CAMP
Hebrews 13: 13: “So now let’s go to him outside the camp.”
“We believe in the authoritative, inerrant, infallible Word of God. His name is Jesus.” Bruxy Cavey
Through the years when we have spoken we have frustrated people, in particular adults, who want to argue with us about what Scriptures say about homosexuality, because for us there is no argument. Jesus sums it up in his word of love.
Queers are a part of the fabric of the church. We have been in the Church since the beginning, for we have encountered that Word of love in Christ. Through the past twenty two years we have come to know those who have open their lives to persecution and possible martyrdom in seeking to bring the church into the light of the
Gospel of inclusive love. They have suffered much hate, threats, and in their own lives they have struggled immensely, but in that struggle has come a witness for Christ that shines through the ages. Their lives are parables of the heart, which tell a story of faith, struggled, and most importantly of the transforming God. We would like to share a few of those we know personally, and lift them up as heroes of the faith:
Rt. Reverend Craig Bettendorf; Craig founded the Evangelical
Anglican Church in 1989, as a branch of Anglicanism that would ordain queers.
Pastor Maria Caruna, pastor of Freedom in Christ Evangelical Church. Her church is an evangelical church that proclaims the Gospel in its evangelical context and inclusive love. She is a lesbian who has been out long before it was “cool”, and has endured much.
Reverend Danny Cortez–Danny is queer in spirit–He is a straight man whose teen son came out, and Danny had been struggling himself with his understanding of Scripture around the “homosexual” issue, and he came to the conclusion that those passages were out of context. He presented this to his Southern Baptist Convention where he was removed. He founded the Third Way Church which welcomes all. He is a man of courage who risked all, and continues to risk all.
The Rt. Reverend Dr. Yvette Flunder, pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ. She is black woman who has fought the good fight for many years. She meets opposition with the grace of God always proclaiming the inclusive love of Jesus.
The Rt.Reverend Dr. Karen Oliveri, recently elected first out United Methodist Bishop has born witness to the inclusive love of Christ in the United Methodist Church for many years. She begins a journey now of being the first out Bishop in a church that is struggling with the question of ordaining queers, and she is a target, and will stand in the middle of that storm as the winds of struggle whirl around her. She is a courageous and brave woman. She is truly a woman of our time.
The Reverend Janie Spahr is a Lesbian Presbyterian minister we met over twenty years a go when she spoke in Minneapolis. She was on the front lines of the queer struggle in the Presbyterian Church from the beginning, and has been a pioneer. She has endured persecution, but she maintained her faith, and is a leader in the transformation of the of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.
The Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson, first out Episcopal Bishop. Gene has lead the fight in the Episcopal Church with courage and grace, and he has faced death threats, and the abuse of many. He is a man of courage.
These are running the race set out before them fixing their eyes on Jesus. They are the models of the the Church that is inclusive.
Mychal Copeland recently wrote a book entitled; Struggling in Good Faith, these individuals have struggled and are struggling in good faith, becoming the bright beacons of God to the world. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Temenos Catholic Worker
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164
Fr. C.River Damien Sims, D.S.T., D.Min. candidate, John Knox Seminary