Annual Conference season is coming upon us in the United Methodist Church, and I have decided to reflect on the fact that I can celebrate having the opportunity to be one of the youngest voting members of Administrative Support. I have to admit I’m one who not big about budgets but this focus session committee was also talking about things that directly affect me as a queer person of faith. So I went into this focus session with a little bit of fear and a whole lot of anxiety but I was surrounded by two of my dear friends who made it all bearable.
I celebrate the fact that my Annual Conference voted to support legislation for the cessation of all church trials in the PNW Conference based on clergy sexual identity and clergy participation in same sex weddings and unions. Personally I know that this legislation isn’t the final step but it’s a step in the right direction. And I celebrate that we as a conference can make decisions that bring a church together instead of drifting farther apart on these issues.
I also celebrate the fact that my Annual Conference has decided to support a petition that will require my Conference to make a public statement to the effect that our church and facilities are safe places for people regardless of gender identity and that transgender people may use the restroom consistent with the individual’s gender in our buildings. As someone whose gender identity is non binary (genderqueer) this petition allows me to celebrate the fact that I shouldn’t have fear or anxiety over choosing which restroom to use inside a church people. I celebrate the fact that my conference recognizes the importance of having churches be safe places for people regardless of gender identity.
I celebrate the fact that my conference for the most part accepts me for who I am, a genderqueer lesbian who has a passion to change the church.