News from AllianceQ: August 2022
Gratitude and Grief: Reflections from the EDM
In May, my family welcomed a newborn; the days and nights were long but the weeks passed quickly. With both gratitude and grief, I resumed work alongside the Rev. Sara Nave-Fisher who served during my bonding leave. My gratitude and grief stretch beyond my context as a parent and ministry leader, a parent who longs to be home with her children and a ministry leader who is compelled to address the inequities around us so that all our children know God’s love.
A dear friend and colleague, the Rev. Dr. Emily Viverette, posted about “gratitude and grief” on July 4th. Emily introduced me to the DOC years ago and is a member at First Christian Church in Greensboro, NC, an Open & Affirming Ministry in our movement.
Her words are relevant for the work to which we are called, the work of supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-diverse people of faith. The work of educating and equipping faith communities for understanding, affirming, and including LGBTQ+ persons.
“Today is a day of gratitude and grief. Gratitude for the freedoms I’ve enjoyed and for those who’ve fought for those freedoms. Grief for the freedom lost for our [siblings]. Gratitude for the high ideals that our democracy has claimed. Grief that those ideals have yet to be realized for so many and that they are actively being fought against by some. Gratitude to live in [a] country where we can criticize and protest our government. Grief that our voices seem to be screaming into the void. It’s a good thing we have more than our voices. We have our hands, our feet, our minds, our spirits and each other.”
I echo Emily because it’s necessary and urgent: we have our voices and we have our hands, our feet, our minds, our spirits and each other.
AllianceQ members and friends, join Emily and me and re-commit to creating a just and inclusive church and world. Please support and engage with AllianceQ. Below is a list of things you can do.
In advance and with much gratitude, we thank you. We also grieve the ways LGBTQ+ individuals are unable to live fully as their divine selves.
Gratitude: The first openly transgender federal official is confirmed. 
Grief: States pass legislation banning and/or punishing gender-affirming care. 
Gratitude: Comunidad Limen became the first Spanish-speaking Open & Affirming Ministry with AllianceQ. 
Grief: Comunidad Limen’s physical property was vandalized when the church returned to in-person worship.
We celebrate progress made, and we persist in our work. Will you consider making a donation or increasing your financial support so the Alliance can deepen and widen its work? Will you use your voice, your hands and feet, your minds and spirits?
Ways to support and engage with AllianceQ:
–Become a member or renew your membership. Make a general donation.
-Contribute to the “Christmas in July/Pride Month Every Month” Fundraiser. (We know it’s August; read more here. Free ornaments to the first major donors!)
-Check out this resource from Reconciling Works: writing letters to the editor.
-From Disciples Peace Fellowship: peace and justice playlists and rapid response statements. Getting involved with our ministry partners makes a difference for all of us!
-Follow and get action steps from the Disciples Justice Action Network.
-Create a Disciples Public Presence — join this group and engage with public action.
-Check out “Queering Reproductive Justice” from The National LGBTQ Task Force.
-Connect with the authors of Colors of Hope through three special access book sessions. “This is who we are!” is a virtual series August 9, 16, and 23. Participate live or through recordings. Details and registration here: https://disciplesallianceq.org/special-access/
–Gather with LGBTQ+ Christians and allies in person at the Colors of Hope Retreat at Christmount in Black Mountain, NC, October 24-27. With an emphasis on connection over content, there are opportunities to learn and unlearn and rest. Full details and registration here: https://disciplesallianceq.org/retreat/
–Find more ways to collaborate and connect with all our Disciples Justice Ministries. Sign up for the Disciples Justice Ministries e-newsletter.
More from the EDM
AllianceQ grieves the loss of freedoms for our siblings, most recently everyone who can become pregnant. The binaries of women, daughters, sisters, etc. do not include the expansive group of individuals who may be/become pregnant.
No one is excluded from God’s love
I am grateful for our GMP’s “Statement on the Supreme Court Dobbs Decision,” most especially the Rev. Terri Hord Owen’s words that “our ability to navigate the tension of disagreement can be a powerful witness to the Christ we follow.” I hear echoes of the joint reflection of faith that Rev. Owens and I shared in January 2020 that emphasized “working through disagreement is hard work that must be grounded in the Holy Spirit.” May we ground all our work in the Spirit. May we expand our love and language.
I am deeply grateful for the time and talents of our interim staff, the Rev. Sara Nave-Fisher and Rick Sancken-Marx. I am grateful for the patience and flexibility of all as I transition back into this work and manage several significant projects. It is good, it is so very good, to be the church.
 “Rachel Levine Makes History As 1st Openly Trans Federal Official Confirmed By Senate,” NPR, March 24, 2021. https://www.npr.org/2021/03/24/980788146/senate-confirms-rachel-levine-a-transgender-woman-as-assistant-health-secretary
 “Texas isn’t the only state denying essential medical care to trans youths. Here’s what’s going on.” Washington Post, March 10, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/10/texas-trans-kids-abortion-lgbtq-gender-ideology/
 “Spanish-speaking Open & Affirming Ministry,” AllianceQ, May 2021. http://disciplesallianceq.org/glad-news/spanish-speaking-open-affirming-ministry/
Parts of this reflection originally printed in July 2022 happenings.