Friday, November 26, 2010

Reaffirmation of Welcome

I wanted to share this awesome Reaffirmation of Welcome recently passed by Lake Street Church of Evanston, one of the great churches in the Chicago area that is a member of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. I think all welcoming churches might want to consider doing something like this periodically, as the Spirit leads them.

Statement follows:

At this time in the life of our nation –

• as the suicides of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth capture

headlines across the country

• as campaigning politicians pronounce that they don’t want children “brainwashed

into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option” as


• and as fear of the “other” and a spirit of hatred threatens to consume our public

and religious discourse:

Lake Street Church of Evanston, a congregation affiliated with the American Baptist

Churches, USA, reaffirms our public commitment of more than fifteen years to be a

place of welcome and support for all of God’s children.

Our welcome knows no boundaries of age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual

orientation, economic condition, or physical or mental abilities. We affirm that gay,

lesbian, bisexual, and transgender lives are fully compatible with Christian teaching.

LGBT individuals and families are fully included in all aspects of our congregational life,

from birth through the celebration of the lives of those who have passed. In a spirit of

radical inclusion, we long for the day when full civil rights are extended to all Americans,

and pledge to be a place of spiritual renewal and encouragement until that day arrives.

Reflecting God’s bold embrace, we proclaim a world with freedom and justice for all,

where we can all honor and celebrate the many faces of love.

Cool, huh?

Go Lake Street!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

birth pangs (angry baby jesus)

Hello Internet,

Sorry for the long-ish radio silence while I got started at my new gig. It continues to be awesome. Here's a response I posted to a colleague's request for advent stuff:

Funny you should mention it:
We had our annual art and poetry show from our homeless and formerly-homeless group last night, and it was (and this is high praise) as awesome as I was expecting it to be. Inspired, on the train home, I wrote ...a little ditty that Tom Ryberg had assigned to me: (I think he's gonna set it to music, and I've got the germ of a melody myself.) Not sure if it's length-or-language-wise appropriate, but I pay attention when things happen at similar times.

Angry Baby Jesus, or Birth Pangs, from an idea from Tom Ryberg
(to be sung lilting, almost calypso, but with an edge)

Everybody loves a baby
or so they claim until
she's howling and needs a changing
she's teething and never still

I want an angry Jesus
lifted wailing from the straw
the Jesus I know is angry
before he can even crawl

Please throw out your hallmark Jesus
cherubic and clean and white
that Jesus won't ever save you
that Jesus won't make you right

I want a dirty Jesus
who smells like sheep and blood and shit
if you want the incarnation,
you're gonna have to handle it

I want a bloody Jesus
because he's just been born
how long can you ignore him?
He's screaming outside your door

The New Creation trembles
the Holy Wind fills Her sails
and with the Newborn Savior
in hope and anger all Creation wails

(repeat previous verse of your choice, depending)