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I think it was last Monday when I realized I’d be posting a blog on the last day of the CRC’s Synod. Which meant, by the time I posted it, that the discussions re: The Human Sexuality Report would likely be concluded, and we’d know which way the winds had blown.
For a hot second I thought about just ignoring it and writing something random, something lighthearted and whimsical, to take our minds off it.
But then the discussions re: The Human Sexuality Report happened, and confessional status was given, and I’m not feeling particularly whimsical.
I’m mostly just feeling sad today.
I don’t have anything clever or witty to say. I can’t wrap any of this up into a neat little package or find some resolution to it. I hope I get to a place of hopefulness, of continued conversation with my church community, of seeing some way forward.
But today, I’m mostly just feeling sad.
I’m sad for my LGBTQ+ friends who texted me yesterday, “So where do I go now?”
I’m sad because our church and a neighbouring church hosted a four-week speaker series on human sexuality and the HSR, and we heard over and over again how grateful people were for space to have these conversations and wrestle with these things, and now that space has been shrunk.
I’m sad for my fellow pastors who sat in silence as we read the news out loud after our breakfast meeting, all of us wondering what this means going forward.
I’m sad for the parishioner who stood in my office in tears because she loves people so deeply and was so heartbroken by this decision.
I’m sad because there was a lot of pious posturing on the floor of this synod, prayers of grief that really just felt like absolving pats on the back before dropping the hammer, and that – more than anything – made me unable to keep watching the discussion.
I’m sad because pastors who are just trying to honor and celebrate the gifts God has given to members of their congregations are now being told to deny those gifts.
I’m sad because it feels like this denomination is moving further and further away from the denomination I grew up in and love, a denomination that asked big, hard questions, and didn’t shy away from tension and paradox, and recognized that the world is big, and complex, and mysterious.
I’m sad because so many are questioning whether they have a home in this denomination anymore, and the CRC is going to lose some beautiful, thoughtful, nuanced, imaginative people.
I’m sad because we chose clarity over people.
I’m sad because we chose what was easy over what was right.
I don’t know what comes next. I trust that the Spirit continues to lead his church, and I know I will continue to have conversations with people, and hold space for people, and do my best to hold space for tension and paradox and mystery, and will keep telling people that in their baptisms, God made a home for them in himself.
All that will come.
But I’m mostly just sad today.