Lutheran Church

Today we tried a Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod. The Methodist church has been splintered by the LGBT issue. Although the church ruled not to allow the ordination of active gays and lesbians, it was the African and Asian churches who carried that vote. Most of the American and other Western churches opposed the decision. Our conference is in open rebellion against the ruling at the General Conference, and in our church newsletter there was a screed about discrimination essentially being further codified and made harsher.

The LGBT issue is a difficult one for me as a bi Christian, but fundamentally I believe that those living in homosexual relationships should not be ordained. They should be a part of the church and allowed to serve in the church. But ordination is a whole other matter. I do not think I should be ordained for a variety of reasons, and I believe that active homosexuals should not be eligible for ordination either. In the same way I would not want a divorced or adulterous person to be ordained, nor do I want the church to ordain those mired in homosexual sin unless they have chosen to be pure. Those who are ordained have to go above and beyond to make sure they are above reproach. They are to be held to a higher standard than others in the church.

Sometimes I feel like the church does not offer enough shelter and grace to LGBT people. I am happily married to a man, yet if the subject of sexuality comes up and I tell other Christians I am bi, I am sometimes the immediate recipient of the cold shoulder – at best. I’ve also been told that there are demons on me etc. I can only imagine what someone just like me who has chosen another woman instead of a man faces. There has been an uneven judgment in which the church weighs homosexuality more heavily than other kinds of sin and judges homosexuals to be the worst of sinners. This has got to stop. Your homosexual neighbor is no worse than your shoplifting teenage daughter, your lying brother, your drunken cousin. Yet to be ordained, although it is impossible to be sinless as a mere mortal, you should not be a shoplifter (or any other kind of thief), a liar, or a drunk. It is because the ordained must be a cut above. No one will listen to what you preach if you do not practice it. An ordained minister should, more than any of us, be the Word of God in action.

There are some who make the argument that the Bible does not teach against Homosexuality, but as of yet I have not seen a convincing argument for that.

We are also interested in the Lutheran church because they do not ordain women. That is one of our beliefs, particularly mine.

We want to attend the super traditional service with the classical liturgy next week. This week we attended a mixed service. It was still lovely. I took communion, which I have not been able to do in awhile. It was real wine. I was not thrilled about that, but of course the Lutherans are not the only ones to use real wine. I will be asking if juice is an option if we end up joining this church.

Overwhelmed

I took Angelica to speech this morning. Now we are at tutoring. I cannot take one more thing. I almost cried in front of Angelica’s speech therapist and the office ladies because they said I might need to take Angelica back to a primary care doctor to get her OT referral to go through. The idea of one more place to go and more people to deal with is just so much right now.

On top of that the UMW newsletter needs to get run today. I couldn’t even finish the document myself. I had a panic attack. Craig is taking me to church to run all the copies today when he gets home from work. I feel a huge weight on my chest just thinking of the machines and all the reams of paper and the noise.

To make matters worse, J, the nice lady who takes care of the mailing, wants to show up to meet me. We still haven’t met. I really want to meet her. We have spoken on the phone before and she sounded lovely. I have been meaning to ask her out to lunch to get to know her. But the idea of socializing with a stranger, of having to see yet another person…more pressure. I thought I would maybe be well enough today to make it work, but when I started crying at the speech therapy office because I was told I would have to get in touch with a doctor’s office I began to question that.

I don’t want to be rude but I cannot handle anything else right now.

It is so important to be involved at church. We should all commit ourselves and our time. But when I volunteered to be editor I was in a medication combination that worked (for the first time in my life) and I had the hope it would keep working. Yet here I am with the February issue due and it makes me cry. Craig is helping me, but in a few months his work schedule changes and I won’t have help. I am panicking. This is the worst I have ever been when the Torch is due, but this is not the first time I have struggled with depression or mania or anxiety and I have needed to put an issue out.

It is a sign of inner strength to do the work and get a good issue out regardless of how I feel or if my meds are working. I need to rise to the occasion. I am just so afraid I will be without Craig’s help and they won’t get an issue out because I won’t be functional. There is no one to help me. No one at church does this but me. Sometimes it is hard to take one more thing – another responsibility, another place to be. I have all I can handle to get Angelica to her appointments and last week I couldn’t do that. Thank God Craig had some days off last week.

I need to visit my lady who is homebound.

I want to go home and curl up. I can’t. My day is nowhere near done. I want to serve God. I need to be reliable. But I am as a building that has been demolished, and all these responsibilities are taking away whatever bricks and glass I was salvaging.

Lost Sleep, UMW

The night before last I could not get to sleep til past midnight because my house was spiritually active. It has been for the past couple of days. That night in particular I heard loud running and banging while I was laying in bed. It went on and on. At first I thought Angelica had gotten up and was running in the hall. She does that sometimes when she is hoping we will wake up and tell her she doesn’t have to sleep in her room. So I got up and checked. No Angelica. I went to her room and she was sound asleep. And as soon as I turned my back in my room and closed the door, it started again. It lasted til past midnight.

Then at around 2 or 3 Craig woke me up when he got up. He turned the fan off and the change in ambient noise woke me up immediately. Interestingly enough, he said he turned it off because he had left it running when he went to bed (hours earlier than I did because of his early shift), and when he got up to go to the bathroom or something it was turned off. He turned it back on for himself, but assumed I’d want it turned off again when he got up.

I never turned that fan off.

So yesterday I was too tired to even homeschool. I didn’t have the clarity of mind to teach, so Craig taught Angelica when he got home. I did dishes and ran some clothes in the dryer and that was about it. I broke my social media fast because I didn’t have enough power of thought to do anything else.

Last night I got more sleep, but still got woken up around 3 – this time because of the super loud creaking of the bathroom and bedroom doors as Craig moved around getting ready for another day shift. I can’t win! I finally started to get some sleep around 5:30 or 6, and then Angelica came in to cuddle and talk. So sleep was over!

I am just trying not to let this sleep loss affect my mood. Losing sleep is sometimes very bad for me.

My volunteering with United Methodist Women begins at the end of the month. I am going to be the editor of The Torch. I am attending the meeting and then people will give their articles and meeting minutes to me over the weekend and I will put The Torch together in Publisher. Then I’ll take it to the church copy office to run copies and fold them. I am looking forward to meeting everyone (and praying my anxiety doesn’t act up). Being the editor of the monthly newsletter means I have a spot on the executive board, so I am going to try to make some of those meeting this year. Unfortunately they are all on Friday, and my babysitter has her homeschooling enrichment program on Fridays. So I can only go when Craig has the day off or has certain shifts.

I think I will volunteer for the card making ministry as well. UMW makes cards by buying simple cards and attaching the front of one to the back of a card they have made themselves with their own message inside. I can do that. I am not a card maker, but I can cut and paste. If they need donations of card to use, I may do that too. I collect some really nice cards, Hallmark and Papyrus.

 

Practical Example of Submission

My husband is the head of our household and our spiritual leader. I submit to his leadership. But what does that mean on a practical daily basis? Well, today for instance, I asked online for church recommendations and someone recommended a church that interested me that had a service this evening. I wanted to go so I immediately asked my husband. He looked up the church and decided he did not want to go. The church is calvinist and he doesn’t believe in Calvinism and the church is perhaps more charismatic than what he is comfortable with. My husband prefers to keep us at Methodist churches.

I was sad. I was disappointed. But I obeyed. I wanted to go to church tonight. We have not been to church in quite a while and we don’t even have a church to go to out here. And I like Saturday night churches because I have a hard time waking up on Sunday mornings and if I force myself to wake up I sometimes have panic attacks at church from being surrounded by so many people when I’m tired. So a Saturday night service would have been really nice. And my beliefs don’t perfectly align with my husband so I agreed with some of what this church had to say. I might have liked it.

But at the end of the day I am not the spiritual leader of the household and it is not my decision to make. If my husband feels that churches like that are not appropriate for our family then I will not go. But I don’t always feel like I get the sort of spiritual sustenance and conservative, upright teaching that I am seeking from the kinds of churches that my husband chooses, so while he’s at work during the week I will try to find Bible studies or something where I can find what I’m looking for. But ultimately I have to trust that God is speaking in the ear of my husband and that what he is deciding for our family is what’s best. I may not always agree with him theologically, but I must remember that in the garden it was Eve who was deceived and not Adam. I may not always be right. And what kind of example would it set for our daughter if I went to church against her father’s wishes?

Still I am lonely tonight. I wish I’d had Church Fellowship. I wish there was somewhere I could get plugged in and really feel at home.

Church

Church of memoir

of discovery

of chants.

Cloistered in my name are ten lives

I did not live

in favor of a sublime 11th.

What is better than best?

What can joy can be discarded for ecstasy?

The taste of salt lines my mouth

when I look back.

 

 

translated to Xhosa, Afrikaans, and back

Church of Love

 

I find joy

while I lay cloistered in my ten lives.

Auroras swirl beyond my reach.

They will not live.

There is a reason I am so inordinately fond of 11.

What is better than a lot?

 

Why have I ignored peace?

 

It tasted of salt in my mouth.

Power lines guiding me back home.

 

 

Church of Love

Separate the gaiety from the joy.

Lonely in my ten lives,

they live,

it is as though they live without me.

How do I dispose of gaiety?

Of me?

Churches

Church of memoir,

of discovery,

of chants.

Cloistered in my name are ten lives

I did not live

in favor of a sublime 11th.

What is better than best?

What can joy can be discarded for ecstasy?

The taste of salt lines my mouth

when I look back.

 

 

translated to Xhosa, Afrikaans, and back

Church of Love

 

I find joy

while I lay cloistered in my ten lives.

Auroras swirl beyond my reach.

They will not live.

There is a reason I am so inordinately fond of 11.

What is better than a lot?

 

Why have I ignored peace?

 

It tasted of salt in my mouth.

Power lines guiding me back home.

 

 

Church of Love

Separate the gaiety from the joy.

Lonely in my ten lives,

they live,

it is as though they live without me.

How do I dispose of gaiety?

Of me?