Any time I am afraid about the coming out process (which, you understand, is undertaken at a snail's pace and with a good deal of hesitation) I believe I will come back to the comments of the last several days. This community has given me such a gift of love and support; I can barely express the depths of my gratitude. May I be worthy.
I am doing something fun. I am presiding at the wedding of a (straight) couple in my church in the not too distant future. In the context of our conversations we have been looking at the traditional language for the service and for the vows, and I have been asking them to be very clear about what they want, what feels "right" to them. In my denomination we have a great deal of freedom with these things; there is no required order of worship. All that is required is that the ceremony, indeed, be a service of worship of God.
There is a portion of the ceremony in which a theological statement is given on marriage, its meaning, God's role in it, etc. As we were looking it over, once again I checked in: How do you like this? Is it ok? Do you agree with it? They are an interesting pair, well-educated, living off the grid, in a sense, very green in their outlook. They are older, and I simply love doing the weddings of real grown-ups (yes, I do realize young 'uns can be grown up. But often in the context of weddings.... everyone is about 6, on a good day.) They looked at one another. Finally, the bride said, "Well, we have gay friends who are coming to the wedding. But we've already warned them, that some of the ceremony would be very traditional. That they need to brace themselves."
Reader, I leapt... like the long-jumper with an inch to gain and the roar of the crowd tickling the back of her neck. "I would be very happy to rewrite this portion of the service... I see no reason why it can't be made inclusive, so that any couple hearing it, gay or straight, would know that God blesses their union."
They beamed, they slumped in their chairs, leaning towards one another, their body language suggesting massive relief flowing through them. It was one of my favorite moments in ministry thus far.