Archive for June, 2009


inclusive and mennonite

Yesterday I crossed the bridge and rested in the meadow holding flowers in my hand. Today I am tying up loose ends in preparation for my trip tomorrow to the MC USA conference in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve never been to one of these affairs and would not be going at all were it not for the MennoNeighbors—those courageous folk working for membership inclusion for all within the Mennonite Church. Having emerged from a seriously oppressive church situation where we became ‘poster children’ for same-gender-covenanted-couples-seeking-church-membership—one that has left everyone in a serious state of division and pain—I am obliged to go and support those in the front lines who still have enough vitality and fortitude to press on.

I’ll be there with my pink bracelet and my pink menno T-shirt: “one church, one hope, one spirit…Inclusive and Mennonite…Ask me how!!” Not sure what to say if anyone actually asks me that question, since I clearly did not succeed. Maybe I’ll just say, “Grit!”

One day the church will get there, just as they finally did with civil rights, divorce and remarriage and ordination of women. What is troubling for so many of us is that as a peace and social justice church, the welcoming inclusion of  LGBT persons is  just that: social justice. Jesus cast no one out, how can we? This issue will haunt the church repeatedly until it sees the light and opens its arms. In the meantime, I will continue to insist on truth-telling, love and integrity in all of my sojourns. This won’t make me very popular with some folk, but I’m not running for office…just living my life as honorably as I can.

…unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven



walking on water

Leaving no footprints is a neat maneuver when walking on a rainy path. What you have to do is levitate a bit, you know…walking on water. Anyone can do it, but few try. What you have to do is look straight ahead, not down, not up…straight ahead. If you falter you just start again and keep on going. I’m sure that if I do leave one or two prints behind, God will cover them with his breath and Grace will be mine.

Tomorrow I expect to have gotten completely across the bridge, wet or dry and I will sing praises to my God who made me inside and out: his beloved child. Still, I mourn for the congregation that couldn’t hold on to me…me and my partner of 32+ years. They are mourning and we are mourning and God loves us all.

I will lift up your face. I will cause your light to shine.

I will take your empty life, I will fill it with mine.

Emoticon_hands_2K copy

My partner…of 32+ years writes songs of praise and songs of longing. She has a beautiful voice and she sings to me. My partner and I will walk across the bridge together tomorrow… and we will rejoice!


Traveling on

Two days ago I went to the city for another lymphoma, maintenance treatment. Being back in that environment, having chemicals dripping into my body to ensure a longer remission is a bit of a catch-22. Takes a few days to recover and about a week to forget about it until the next round. Happily, there will be only two more of them and then I will be a member in good standing of the Full Remission Club. Notice I didn’t say Full Cure Club. There is no real cure for cancer, there is only remission and that allows cancer to be considered a “chronic disease.” (Love that spin..) The war on cancer, begun decades ago by President Nixon, hasn’t been particularly  successful…more like a “mission accomplished” hoo-ha. Nevertheless, I am still standing and determined to make the most of whatever time is mine to love, learn, struggle, stumble, laugh, eat, dance, sing, or suffer through.

Suffer? Did someone mention suffering? Hmm, something so near, but not dear to my heart these past many, many months. How does one embrace suffering when it comes as a result of the innocent love of church and friendships? By Grace, that’s how, purely by grace, that mysterious unquantifiable essence of the Spirit of God.

My dear friend, ordinary (mostly) has referred to the struggles and pain in his congregation. I know a great deal about those struggles as they revolved around me and my partner of 32+ years. I will never be a fan of suffering, but I can tell you that the payoff is spiritually transformative and worth it in the end. It’s just the beginning and middle that are problematic. Traveling through difficulties and outright pain is helped enormously by prayer, supplication and plain old hanging on by the finger nails. (Cats do this very well on window screens…)

In bad times I have envisioned being weightless in a dark universe where I am alone, with God beneath me, like a transparent hammock holding me aloft. I have had  many dark paths, dark nights, dark days during the struggles in the congregation that I loved. Grace is there like a little flame lighting each step. This year I came to understand that faith is not about strength of character or certainty of outcome, i.e., being sure you will get what you ask for. It is about walking toward God when I don’t see clearly, trusting as best I can (imperfectly) and knowing mother/father God hears me when all I can say is “Help me.”

Jesus, help us live in peace from our blindness set us free.

Fill us with your healing love. Help us live in Unity.

I’m walking the bridge, following the light, and leaving no footprints.


Addendum for today

I forgot to say that faith is when you are not in control !! Isn’t that most of the time, when you really stop to think about it? Learning to walk in faith is like being a tightrope walker or trapeze artist or mountain climber. It’s living in the now…this day, this minute, this second. Spontaneous and combustible.

This was a very good day, indeed. Thank you O(M) for watching my blogging back. Whadda mentsch!


Hello blogoshpere

This is my first entry as a newbie blogger. I had so much fun leaving comments on my friend’s blog, that  having my own soapbox seemed the thing to do. So, with help from blog friend, ordinary (mostly), I am stumble-bumbling into blog-world from my comfortable computer studio where I more easily create digital montage images for whoever needs them. If curious, see my website,

I have lived a long time and done a lot of things, half of which are forgettable, the other half largely regrettable, but gathered together are plowed into a redemptive field of rolling hills and valleys called experience. This of course has been by Grace, not by might, will or cleverness.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin, transformed, B-Cell lymphoma. Since that time my life took a steep bank  toward the center and I have not been the same person since. I do not thank cancer, nor do I pat myself on the back for surviving that first onslaught. What I do is look deeper, see more, think a lot, hear a lot and by the Grace of God know that some things in life count more than others… friends, family, peace, justice, honesty, truthfulness, forgiveness, faith, and walking the Way.

This is what I took with me from my cancer experience, and what I live by each day as best I can:

Do not be afraid—I will save you.
I have called you by name—you are mine.
When you pass through deep waters,
I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you.
Isaiah 43:1-2


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June 2009

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