News from AllianceQ: September 2019

GA 1929 "An Invitation to Education for Welcoming and Receiving the Gifts of Transgender and Gender-Diverse People" Adopted by Des Moines Assembly

Resolution 1929 “An Invitation to Education for Welcoming and Receiving the Gifts of Transgender and Gender-Diverse People” was adopted by the General Assembly of the Christian Church in Des Moines. The discussion of the resolution included no voices speaking against adoption, and when it came time to vote, it was not clear if the few negative voices actually came from the voting section of the Assembly floor.

There was, however, an attempt to amend the resolution, which several supporters spoke against eloquently, and the motion to amend was defeated.

You can read about the resolution in this Crossbeams article from March, and you can read the full text of the resolution here. (And click on the pictures below for larger versions!)

Many heartfelt and eloquent voices spoke in favor of this resolution, but how can we resist sharing with you the statement that included a reference to “stinky grapes?”

While we’re gathered discussing vineyards, let’s lend our ears to Isaiah 5. The author had something to say about the rotten fruit of society when it ignores social justice:

My beloved had a vineyard
   on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
   and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watch-tower in the midst of it,
   and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
   but it yielded wild grapes.

(That’s a bad translation of the Hebrew. A more accurate reading is stinky grapes. We have stinky grapes in our vineyard.)

And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
   and people of Judah,
judge between me
   and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard
   that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
   why did it yield stinky grapes?

And now I will tell you
   what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
   and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
   and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
   it shall not be pruned or hoed,
   and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns;
I will also command the clouds
   that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
   is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
   are God’s pleasant planting;
God expected justice,
   but saw bloodshed;
   but heard a cry!”

Friends, the only faithful response to this resolution is a resounding yes. If we take seriously the idea that we were all created in the image of God, we don’t get to cherry pick justice. Oppression by any other name is still oppression. So if you’re struggling with how to have the conversations, how to understand, WE WILL TEACH YOU— WE WILL WALK WITH YOU. Come see our friends over in the Alliance Q booth and do some work. But we will not coddle church bigotry in the name of God. We must stand with our transgender siblings because God does. This isn’t a discussion, this is a choice to embody God’s welcome and hospitality or be stinky grapes.

I don’t want my church to be stinky grapes. Vote YES resolution 1929.

– Rev. Kristin Wolf, Humeston, IA

Resolution author Rev. Katie Hayes speaking in support of GA-1929

Rev. Monica Cross speaking in support of GA-1929

AllianceQ Council Moderator Robin Knauerhase speaking in support of GA-1929