During my time as a pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, I was in an ongoing conversation about the relationship between LGBTQ folks and local churches. And over the years, regardless of all the different kinds of settings in which that conversation was happening, it kept bringing me back to this very particular biblical imagery.
Moses and his people were on the edge of a body of water that they could not safely cross with the armies of Egypt, bearing down on them from behind an impossibility. Any change necessary for a peaceful, free future was just off the table, something very new, something not just unprecedented, but unexpected and very unlikely would need to happen. It has pretty much always felt that same way to me in the institutional conversation about sexuality and gender and identity, and communal religious practice, that any change necessary in order for a peaceful, connected communal future, to be possible just seemed off the table. For that reason, then for several years, I’ve turned my attention to places in which I saw actual newness, and that was almost always in relationship. It was almost always happening on a level that the institutional conversation was too busy or too noisy, to notice. But as quiet as some of those spaces and moments might have been, they continue to grant me deep and sincere hope for a future. I can’t see it.
Staci Frenes story is one of those spaces and places and it was a joy to reconnect with her in conversation.
Check it out.
Links for Staci Frenes:
Website – https://www.stacifrenes.com
Links For Justin:
Order the new book – It Is What You Make it
New Music – The Dood and the Bird