Everyday Blessings

Greater NW Pride: Being Church

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Being Church   Since the specially called General Conference meeting of February 2019, with the decision to go with the Traditional plan, there’s a lot of activity within the United Methodist Church as our members are trying to figure out the way forward on this pilgrimage of faith.    For example, as I write this, the Bishops of the Western Jurisdiction came out with the aspirational vision of the “Safe Harbor” declaration, welcoming out and closeted LGBTQ+ clergy and families to find a ...

Greater NW Pride: Microaggressions

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Microaggressions   I’m in the process of becoming a Docent with the Portland Art Museum. This 36-week training course is part art history class, part education class, and part cultural awareness seminar. On October 28, 2109, we had a “Building Inclusive Practice through Anti-Racism,”workshop,  led by Keonna Hendrick and Marit Dewhurst of Brooklyn, New York. Because of the work we do as Docents, and how we interact with the works of art and the people who come to the Museum, it is helpful in ...

Greater NW Pride: One Step Forward

Brett Webb-Mitchell


  One Step Forward: The Art of Pilgrimage in Life   I recently completed walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. It was amazing!   This is the 20th year I’ve gone on a pilgrimage. Call it a spiritual practice/continuing education event/a source of life and living that I began soon before I left teaching at Duke Divinity School. Here was the situation: While I kept writing about pilgrimage in my books and essays and sermons regarding people with disabilities and the Church, I had two ...

Greater NW Pride: LGBTQ+ Missionary Pilgrimage in Southern Idaho, 2019!

Brett Webb-Mitchell


LGBTQ+ Missionary Pilgrimage in Southern Idaho, 2019!   By the time I got on my Alaska Air flight back to Portland via Seattle and sat down, I knew I was tired from traveling many miles.  Yet a big grin came across my face as I leaned against the window side of the small prop plane. What an incredible, short pilgrimage I went on across the southern, broad, part of Idaho! I called it the LGBTQ+ Missionary Pilgrimage, although on Facebook I called it the Queer Missionary Pilgrimage, spreading ...

Greater NW Pride: On Writing As a Gay Man

Brett Webb-Mitchell


  On Writing As a Gay Man In the recent documentary of the life of the late-writer Toni Morrison, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, I was struck by a quote about who her audience is in terms of who she is writing to in her novels and essays. I was struck by her candor: she writes to and for black people.    It made me think about who I write this blog to and for: I write this blog to and for straight cisgender people, not for LGBTQ+ per se. That’s because this blog is part of the United ...

Greater NW Pride: Amateur Sports and the Church

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Amateur Sports and the Church   This Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2019, I’m going to be preaching at Hillsboro United Methodist Church at 10 am, and I’m looking forward to it. I enjoy my time visiting UMC churches as the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Coordinator, visiting congregations and seeing what is happening in and around the Conference.    I’m also signed up to be paddling with my Dragon Boat Team, Golden Dragons, and there is a Grand Master Race (over 60 years-old) at 10 am that morning as well. I’ll ...

Greater NW Pride: Called to Love One Another: A Video Documentary Project

Brett Webb-Mitchell


  Called to Love One Another: A Video Documentary Project   “Called to Love One Another” is a video documentary project that collects the stories of three congregations and pastors who have been on a faithful pilgrimage of movement towards being an open, affirming, and reconciling congregation, along with the story of three LGBTQ+ United Methodist Church members, whose pilgrimage is a movement from the closet to being open and a members of a local United Methodist Church. In both movements—the...

Greater NW Pride: Queer Pride Camp Reflections

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Queer Pride Camp Reflections   On Sunday afternoon, Aug., 18, 2019, after a weekend together with each other, I drove a van full of queer young adult campers to a restaurant in Redlands, just down the “hill” from Camp Sky Meadows in the San Bernardino Mountains, where we were all part of Queer Pride Camp, a first camp of its kind in the United Methodist Church’s Western Jurisdiction. Twenty-six all-queer campers and eleven staff—all the camp leadership staff were queer—had a fabulous time ...

Greater NW Pride: What "Pose" Teaches Us About Being Church

Brett Webb-Mitchell


What Pose Teaches Us About Being Church   On Tuesday, Aug., 13, 2019, I read a Facebook entry by the Rev. Anna Blaedel—an openly queer United Methodist minister—who was facing an investigation and possible trial by the Iowa Annual Conference into her ordination because homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, and she is a “self-avowed and practicing homosexual” (Book of Discipline, Paragraph 2702.1[b]). In all honesty, as an openly gay Presbyterian pastor, I even cringe as I ...

Greater NW Pride: Camp Queer Pride 2019

Brett Webb-Mitchell


  Camp Queer Pride, 2019!   From Friday, Aug. 16 to Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church is holding its first LGBTQ+ camp for young people, from ages 18-25-years-old who live in the Western Jurisdiction, as well as those LGBTQ+ who are outside of this Jurisdiction and need to come to a safe place for a few days. We are gathering at Camp Sky Meadows in the San Bernardino Mountains area. This is the first camp or retreat of its kind in the United ...

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