News from AllianceQ: May 2020

For flock's sake: reflections from the EDM

Jesus said to them, “‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’”

John 10:1-10 was the scriptural focus for this podcast, part of the Colors of Hope series. I hope you’re listening to the queer voices contributing to the series, which continues through the month of May. In the coming weeks, we’ll hear from Yani Davis, Luther Young, CJ Rodriguez and Allen V. Harris. Find all the podcasts here.

Throughout the month, AllianceQ will highlight open & affirming ministries:

  • birthday blessings for O&A ministries with an anniversary during the month of May,
  • why O&A, and
  • how O&A (plus O&A now, in the midst of a global pandemic).

The Mid-America Open & Affirming Ministry Team has developed two workshops for its October regional assembly. We know we don’t know what things will look like in October. The content and purpose for their workshops is important:

  • Workshop 1: “Open: Exploring a Wide(r)Welcome”
  • Workshop 2: “Affirming: Living Out the Ministry of Welcome”

There’s a difference between saying or displaying a sign with “all are welcome” and living out a sincere, expansive welcome. Alysha Laperche names this in a personal and scriptural exploration of O&A. Find their reflection here.

O&A is among the justice work of the Alliance. I’m encouraged by the expanding, collaborative work of Disciples Justice Ministries; stay tuned for a “summer of justice.” I’m grateful for my deepening relationships with queer leaders who are also invested in building a just, inclusive Church for vulnerable persons and groups. Did you see this ministry with our partners?

I’m encouraged by the reflection and imagination of the AllianceQ Council. And: AllianceQ is seeking leaders to serve as a part of this transforming, expanding ministry. Please consider the invitation to make referrals for leadership with the organization. These referrals will be evaluated for consideration in the upcoming appointments and nominations process. You can also communicate your own interest in leadership. Specifics here.

Finally, remember the words of John 10: “‘I am the gate,’ Jesus says. ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’”

For flock’s sake, may we live abundantly and may we share God’s abundant, limitless love with all.

Know that no matter the size, shape, sign slapped on or voice connected with the world’s gates, you, each of you, belong. Black sheep, white sheep, brown sheep, purple, red, rainbow, polka dot sheep: I’m glad to be with you, alongside you, wandering with you, returning to the protection, affirmation and shelter of Jesus.