Everyday Blessings

Brett Webb-Mitchell


From Separate to Welcoming, Inclusion, and Integration: Parallels Between the Community of People with Disabilities and the LGBTQ Community in the Church Since assuming the role as the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Coordinator, and attending local churches and Reconciling meetings, regional Annual Conference of the OR-ID UMC Conference, and attending the national Reconciling Convention, I’ve been inundated by the use of words like “separate,” “welcoming,” “inclusion,” and “integration,” wondering if everyone ...

Spirit Alive: Can We Be an All Souls Church in a Some Souls World?

Lowell Greathouse


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond. January 15, 2019 With Heart, Soul, and Mind: What Will It Take to Transform the World? "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.'" Romans 12: 2 "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." President Theodore Roosevelt Some years ago, when I was at a conference in Washington, DC, I ...

A Kiss

Brett Webb-Mitchell


A Kiss   A few weeks ago, sailor Bryan Woodington came home to Jacksonville, Florida, after seven months at sea on the USS Sullivan, and kissed his husband Kenneth, dipping him, like the iconic V-J Day kiss in New York City’s Times Square in 1945. The photograph, which showed both on Facebook and a local television network news feed, while garnering much praise, also drew critics and negative responses by those who were offended by two gay men kissing. All this, because two men kissed, and the...

New Year’s Resolutions in 2019

Brett Webb-Mitchell


New Year’s Resolutions in 2019    In an article from Psychology Today, “Why We Really Celebrate New Year’s Day,” writer David Ropeik writes that New Year’s Day is, logically, simply the movement of the clock, from Monday to Tuesday. However, we put special, symbolic, and emotional charge to it, making one day “2018” and the next day, “2019.” The reason we celebrate New Year’s Day is something that is ubiquitous, tied to something intrinsic to or in our DNA as human beings, in which we give all...

Re-Hearing the Magnificat as a Gay Pastor

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Re-Hearing the Magnificat as a Gay Pastor   This coming Sunday, Dec. 23rd, is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Gospel reading is Luke 1:39-55, in which the latter part of this reading (vs. 46-55) is the famous Magnificat. The passage opens up with Mary setting out and, “with haste” makes it out to a Judean town in the hill country, where she has fled to the house of her relative, Elizabeth. These two women—both outsiders to the dominant culture because of their gender—share joy in their ...

Baptismal Affirmation and Transgender People

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Baptismal Affirmation and Transgender People   The Church of England recently issued rules to their priests on ways of being “creative and sensitive” as they welcome transgender people into the Church. Benjamin Fearnow wrote that the Episcopal Church’s “House of Bishops approved the pastoral guidance document that advises Anglican clergy to address trans individuals by their chosen names, rather than their birth names.  The move to welcome more transgender individuals into the church, the BBC ...

World AIDS Day 2018

Brett Webb-Mitchell


World AIDS Day 2018   December 1 was World’s AIDS Day. Dec. 1 was founded as World AIDS Day in 1988. We have had 30 years of World’s AIDS Day, in which this is a day to unite against HIV, with people showing their support for people living with HIV, as well as to commemorate those people who have died. Currently, there are approximately 34 million people who have the virus, which was first identified in 1984. Over 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS.    These are the facts.   Then there...

Reflecting on Thirty-Five Years

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Reflecting on Thirty-Five Years   The invitation: “The Presbytery of Boston invites you to a celebration of joy and peace as Brett P. Webb-Mitchell is ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament at Valley Community Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Nov. 27, 1983, at 10:30 am…and installation as Assistant Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of East Boston, Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2:30 pm.” On the outside of the invitation was a small boy in a too-large Genevan gown, with these words from the ...

LGBTQ+ People and the Caravan

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Being LGBTQ and the Caravan   With Thanksgiving before us, focusing on the religious pilgrims who sought freedom to practice their religion, and their first harvest meal in October 1621, that we now honor as a nation with a federal holiday. 90 native people and 53 settlers attended the first harvest festival that became our Thanksgiving. In light of this holiday, as a nation we are also aware that more settlers are on the border of California and Mexico, as a caravan of thousands of people ...

"Boy Erased" and the Church

Brett Webb-Mitchell


    At the center of the book and movie, “Boy Erased”, written by Garrard Conley, is the so-called conversion or reparative therapy. Conversion or reparative therapy is the dangerous psychological practice of “attempting” to turn a person who self-identifies as LGBTQ to being “straight,” with the underlying misnomer that “straight” is normal and good, and same sex attraction is evil or bad. The 19-year-old college student, Jared (who is really Garrard) is sent to an ex-gay Christian ministry, ...

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