FROM THE DESK OF REVEREND HEATHER MINER
We recognize the hurt that the traditional church has caused same-gendered loving people. Some of us have been part of a church culture that did not understand our own bias and we are humbled by your willingness to enter into church again. At Wright, we read scripture as Jesus read scripture, with compassion, with an openness to what God is doing in this time and place, and with a welcoming spirit to all who wish to know God.
You are welcome here. Hold hands with your beloved, dress as you feel most comfortable, tell us your pronouns, and be ready to experience God anew. Put God first, discover Jesus, and sing and serve with a community of faith again or for the first time.
Together we will praise God from whom all blessings flow. In God's Love, Rev. Heather
The following is an excerpt from The Children are Free by Rev. Jeff Miner and Rev. John “Tyler” Connley (Conference Minister of the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ). We lift it up as an example of how scripture has often been muted and invite you to consider a more colorful view that honors natural differences in human relationships.
“Ruth …tells the story of two women [Naomi and Ruth] who love and support one another through difficult times. It addresses the question, ‘Can two people of the same sex live in committed, loving relationship with the blessing of God?’”
The context of the time where widows had no means and no standing in ancient society …
“…makes the scene almost unbelievable. Naomi, grieving and recognizing her fate as a widow, decides to return to Bethlehem where her father’s family is, and where she hopes to find food. She counsels her daughters-in-law to do the same—to return to their own families. She knows she can’t offer them any support as a woman, and she fears she’ll only be a burden. Orpah, sensibly, returns home. But Ruth clings to Naomi and makes this moving declaration of her intention to stay at Naomi’s side, so matter what:
‘Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you.' (Ruth 1: 16-17).’
When Ruth spoke those haunting words, ‘Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried,” she wasn’t talking about some theoretical distant future. She was giving voice to the very real possibility that her decision to place her life in the hands of another woman could result in death…. She threw caution to the wind and went against every survival instinct. Only one word could explain her actions—love.
After this speech, the story moves on to tell of Ruth and Naomi’s life together. The focus is on the quality of their relationship. The biblical storyteller chronicles how Ruth cared for Naomi by taking the only job available to a husbandless woman, gleaning. When the author tells of Ruth’s eventual marriage to a much older man, the marriage is portrayed as one of convenience, contrived to help Ruth and Naomi survive the harsh conditions of widowhood.
No mention is made of Ruth’s love for her husband. And, when Ruth finally bears a son from her marriage, the text focuses on Naomi and her reaction to the great news, not on the father. In fact, the woman of the village (and the author) ignore the father entirely, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” (Ruth 4:17) They remind her that Ruth “who loves you, is more to you than seven sons.”(Ruth 4:15) Everyone seems to understand that, for Ruth and Naomi, their most important relationship is the one they share.”
(The Children are Free, excerpts from p. 29 – 31)
If you seek to know and learn more about our scripture and how it addresses same-gendered love, use our contact page to reach out. Our Pastor will reach back to you.
In God’s Love, Heather