Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finally we are talking

Finally we are talking about race in this country. And we aren't just talking about black and white or brown. We are talking about what it is to be multiracial in America. MSN/ MSNBC has a great piece on their website.

This is something that I have been talking about for a long time, because it is my life. It took a multiracial ( who identifies as Black as is his choice) presidential candidate to get us having these conversations. We are starting to have really conversation, to ask honest questions, to ask hard questions, some that may even be offensive, we are finally doing it. It has been a long time coming. I think growing up in America in this day in age is a hard thing for a child of any race or any combination of races. We are a culture that has very strong stereo types and expectations of how you should act based on race and gender. I appear to be white upper middle class so I should act a certain way, my cousins appear to be black upper middle class so they need to act a certain way. I can't tell you the number of looks I get when I with my cousins. If I am with my younger cousins some people assume I am a single mother, because obviously if they were my children no blackman plays a father role ( i am being very sarcastic there!) If I am with my older cousin I get stares from both white and blacks because they assume we are dating. It insane.

The situation is worsened by the fact that we make assumptions about who people are and what they should be. We need to stop. Schools, churches, businesses, etc need to stop asking their employees to do demographics. Please do not ask me or a school teacher, or a manager, etc to do demographics of race. I can not stand in front of my church assume the race of the members. I would bet my life that 8 out of 10 people maybe even 9.5 out 10 people would assume I am white .... WRONG... I do not want to deny part of myself because of the way I look.

I hope these discussion continue and maybe we really will make some lasting progress when it comes to race in this country.

ETA: There is also a great article on religion and race here

A step in the right direction

I am happily surprised my lovely home state has said that it will recognize the marriage of couples, who happen to be of the same sex, who get married in a state where same sex marriages are legal. It doesn't legalize gay marriage but it is at least a step in the right direction. ( see article )
It seems as though many of my Gay friends are happy about the decision, so that makes me happy. It gives me hope. It would be wonderful if the church was leading the charge for equality, but I guess I need to be happy with the little victories that we get for the cause!

Friday, May 23, 2008

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N Friday Five

Friday Five- vacation thoughts....

It is a holiday weekend here in the UK, and the weather forecast for much of the country is not good!!! But we can still dream and so with that in mind I bring you this Friday Five.

1. Getting ready for summer, do you use the gradual tanning moisturisers ( yes gentlemen you too can answer this!!!), or are you happy to show your winter skin to the world? I tried the gradual tanners but I forget to put it on daily so it doesn't always works so well

2.Beach, mountains or chilling by the pool, what/ where is your favourite getaway? Beach by far, but i will take a pool. even better a pool by the beach.

3.Are you a summer lover or does the long break become wearing? I could do summer all year round

4.Active holidays; hiking swimming sailing, or lazy days? A little bit of both

5.Now to the important subject of food, if you are abroad do you try the local cuisine, or do you prefer to play it safe? Local food all the way!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In a new space

So I am finally in a new space AKA NOT LIVING WITH MY PARENTS!!!! Do you get the excitement in that statement. It is not that i do not love my parents I do. I am also grateful to them for letting me live in their house until age 25 rent free and paying a numerous number of my bills. I am extremely grateful for that. However, there comes a time in a young adult's life where living with her parents is just does work anymore. I have been ready to move since I think about the age of 13 so the fact that I made it to 25 and everyone survived I think is a miracle in itself.

I really do like my new apartment. However my roommate hasn't fully moved in yet and i am a little lonely. I am definitely an extrovert. I need to be around people. The little community i am living in is just that a little community. It does have great paces to walk and run, but I only know one other person there so it will be nice when my roomie is finally in the apt as well. Also, we are still lacking Internet at the apt (I'm at panera now) and it is driving me crazy!!! I never knew just how dependent on the internet I am. I am hoping that we get it working by the end of the weekend.

ANyway more about my little space later.... off to do some work!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Still processing

I am still processing general conference. Still figuring out what exactly it all means to me. I can say that i will be a regularly attendee of conference. i think it is important to see the connection at work. I really appreciated being there. I appreciated seeing delegates and observers all over the world. It was great to be part of the witness against the injustices that the church participates in. It was even more wonderful that the general conference raised close to $450,000 by bidding on a basketball ( I always knew my basketball connection would turn into a church connection). So right now I am still a bag of mixed emotions.

However, my sermon while short went over well. I had a question and answer session after the sermon and of course they asked what the hot button issues are. Of course I was honest. I spoke about the issues of central/regional conferences, and about the sacramental rights of deacons, budgets, bishops, and of course homosexuality. Then i was asked my emotional state and I was honest. That I'm both hurt and hopeful. Which lead to some interesting conversations after church. Surprisingly my church was really upset about the polices of the church. I say surprisingly because i thought they would be much more conservative. However, there was talk of us taking down our open hearts, open minds, open doors banners and even taking pictures to be sent to the bishop. So I remain hopeful that my little country church who I assumed was Conservative has just surprised me!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yesterday/last night

Well All the wind about the my excitment to be at general OCnfernce is gone. I think part of that excitment was that I thought there was going to be change . I thought at least one of the pieces of the human sexuality legislation would go through. At least the the piece about human worth and sacredness would no longer be marred but this is what we got:
"We affirm that sexuality is Gods good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift.

Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relationships are affirmed only within the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.

We deplore all forms of commercialization, abuse, and exploitation of sex. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children and for adequate protection, guidance, and counseling for abused children. All persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence. The Church should support the family in providing age-appropriate education regarding sexuality to children, youth and adults.

We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the church in our struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationship with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that gods grace is available to all. We will live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and long one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”

Sadly this came out of a minority report that replaced the majority report. So we at least thought the piece about clergy being able to deny membership would go down. It passed by one or two percentage points. Talk about feeling defeated. There was a lot of hurt. I simply can not understand how we as a denomination can continue to openly discriminate and continue to call ourselves followers of Christ. I just don't get it.

I am not sure what this does for my ordination. I am not sure what this does for my status as a United Methodist. I just don't know....

One other thing that really irked me was RMN and others stood to sing Jesus Loves Me (us) in solidarity and in protest and the presiding Bishop had everyone stand and do calisthenics.... If everyone stands then no one notices us. Again not sure how long I can take this!