Social Justice

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 ...

White Privilege: A Primer

Tim Overton-Harris


Cascadia District Superintendent shares the first time he realized that his experience of the world as a white male was not the same as the experience of people of color, and how he feels called in his faith to work toward a society where the mosaic of humanity is seen and celebrated.

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: Violence

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Violence   In opening up Facebook, reading the New York Times and Washington Post,  watching CNN and MSNBC, listening to NPR, and reading and on a fairly regular basis, I was struck by the presence of violence upon LGBTQ+ people that is a constant in our life as queers in straight American society. There is the physical, emotional, and religious violence that is perpetrated on us daily. In other words, the violence is systemic. It is the in the very institutional-cul...

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 ...

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