It has been a privilege to spend the last two years at BMC. I leave with the sense that the work I have done is part of a much larger whole. I am grateful for all of you who have been doing this for many years, who created space and a platform that I could join. And I am grateful for all of you who are beginning to think about when and how you can contribute to a church and society that is inclusive of lgbt people.
Metaphors help me get my head around big ideas, and one I have come to recently is using wind to think about three aspects of BMC’s work (as well as the larger lgbt justice movement). Wind creates waves, wind can turn turbines, and wind fills our sails. I don’t often allow myself to publicly dig into my sometimes far-fetched metaphors, but I decided to indulge myself on this occasion. Feel no obligation to continue reading!
Wind creates waves, and together they are a steady, continuous force of change on the landscape. Sometimes change happens quickly and dramatically, and sometimes it can only be seen with hindsight. As individuals we slowly transform the world, people, institutions and systems around us with every small choice and action. When as family members, friends, and lgbtq people we make choices to share our values, beliefs, and actions openly so that the world will see and hear.
Wind can turn turbines, and with our will and ingenuity we can build them - we can create systems that make more effective use of the power that is in the wind, create a larger more immediate impact, and create infrastructure that will sustain this into the future. Together we can get organized and educated. We can join with others who are doing this work, and continue to build partnerships and relationships that allow us to do the most work with the available energy and resources. We can learn (and keep learning) about lgbtq people, about social justice movements, and about larger systems of oppression and privilege.
Wind also fills our sails. As we engage in the work of changing our world, we must always remember to keep each other going, to make sure people stranded offshore don’t go unnoticed. Especially for those of us who have been able to access a community where we can live an openly and relatively affirmed and hassle-free life, it is easy to forget that it may not have always been this way for us, and it certainly is not that way for many. We must continue to find ways to support people in “our” own community, to create open (and visible) doors to our communities, and to continually reach out to the proverbial stranger.
We can each contribute our breath to this wind that creates change. It has been an honour to serve with BMC in a particularly focussed way the past couple of years, and I look forward to continuing to work and stand with all of you for many more years to come. In September I will be moving (back) to Winnipeg, Mantioba and looking for work, unless something materializes (fingers crossed) between now and then. Although I’m originally from London, Ontario, I have lived in Winnipeg before, and am very much looking forward to reconnecting with many wonderful people there. For anyone who would like to stay in touch, emails can be forwarded through the BMC office. I also plan to be at the BMC Community Gathering in October (see NewsNet article), and hope to see some of you there!
Peace and strength,