Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Evening Meeting

Here's what I told Beloved and my daughter, both of whom awaited the news with bated breath:

It was fabulous.

Maybe in my exhilaration I exaggerate. But I don't think so.

I was careful to give them permission not to respond immediately, not to feel that they must have a reaction on the spot. But about 20 minutes into the meeting, one member of the body (a retired gentleman) said,

"I feel the need to tell you that this really doesn't affect me, one way or the other. We"-- (meaning, his wife and he)-- "joined the church because good things are happening here, and you are one of those good things."

Another person (a woman, early 60's) piped up, "Well, that's how I feel too, honestly. I don't see that it's relevant for how you do your job."

Within a few minutes nearly all the people in the room had affirmed, in one way or another (by spoken word or by nodding vigorously as others talked) that they still value my ministry. In fact, one person said my honesty gives them greater confidence in me as a pastor.

We talked about some of the tough issues (the church policies that remain in place at present) along with some hopeful stuff as well (the grey areas that open the door, just a crack). They asked insightful questions. The goal seemed to be, how do they keep me on.

I'm so exhausted right now I can barely keep upright. (I've felt this way since 8:30, but Beloved and my daughter and I had to have a celebratory dinner).

It was good. It was very, very good. Now, off to bed. But first: thank you, all of you. I read your notes and comments just before going into the meeting. I was completely surrounded by love and prayers. Thank you.

45 comments:

Songbird said...

I am so glad to hear this! Blessings on all those good people, and on you!!

Auntie Knickers said...

Sometimes people surprise us just a little with how good they really are! So happy for you.

Sophia said...

Hallelujah!!!! I dropped my son at hockey practice and was praying my Office by the baptismal pool in the local RC church while you were in your meeting.

Erp said...

I'm glad this step went so well. I hope your whole congregation will accept you in the same spirit and so on.

IT said...

Woohoo! So pleased to hear it went well. THe first step is thehardest....

exilic chaplain said...

tears well up as I read... continuing to pray and offering my respect as you speak the truth of Love

Erika Baker said...

Reading this had me in tears. It's so wonderful to know that you've been affirmed and upheld!
I hope you will have many more causes to celebrate in the next few days!

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

more hugs and kisses

DaveW said...

Great news. Prayer continues.

bugs said...

I celebrate with you! what an amazing affirmation! I will continue to hold you, your beloved and the leadership of your church in my prayers.

alet

Saintly Ramblings said...

Wow - what gracious people you are privileged to serve. Continuing to keep you in prayer as the news gets around.

David said...

dear, dear Cecilia & Beloved
make no mistake about it, the Holy Spirit is very much alive and at work in the Church
and we LGBT folk are being used powerfully & wondrously by Her to bring about something transformative in humanity's relationship with our God.

it is my sense that in the bigger picture sex is probably last thing this is really about, as God calls out to Creation:

enough already! enough transactional theology, enough conditional love, enough patriarchy, enough barriers and baffles between Me and my creation.

of course this terrifies the 'vested interests' in more quarters than just Christianity, but it is only a continuation of the wondrous call of the Holy Spirit to our sisters to take their full place in life and within the Churches.

i truly believe our LGBT tribe is being used prophetically in these times by the Holy Spirit to wondrous ends, and you dear Cecilia, are right now on the crest of that wondrous wave.

sitting here, tears of sheer joy washed my face as i gave thanks for your news and your example.

may the days ahead be ones where any rough spots are soon forgotten by the constant wonder of growing into an unconditional life.

thank-you Cecilia, thank-you Beloved. wishing you every blessing

David@Montreal

God_Guurrlll said...

My heart is filled with joy for you. Thank you for your courage. Thank God for your congregation. You all are wonderful people!

Peace and love,

jsd said...

This is so wonderful! I am very happy for you!

Continued prayers and blessings.

LittleMary said...

so happy. so very happy.

8thdayplanner said...

Thank you for your kind comments.

I just read through some of your latest posts. Congratulations. A courageous step that I'm sure will open the door to many more blessings.

(are you going to change the name of your blog?)

Sarah S-D said...

PRAISE GOD! WOOHOO!!!!

Strength to you for the next leg of the journey...

angela said...

Saw your comment on 8thdayplanner and found my way here--and so happy to find that the title no longer reflects your state. I'm in prayer and hoping that my church and yours will embrace justice and grace with regard to clergy.

Mary Beth said...

Joyous tears here, too. I'm so glad, so grateful, so happy for you.

August said...

Squee!

Suzer said...

Thanks be to God!

I was in a church meeting last night, and when we shared prayers and concerns, we prayed for you and your congregation. You are surrounded and lifted in prayer, not only where you live, but around the world.

I am so thankful for the positive reaction you received. God is good. :)

Wormwood's Doxy said...

After my long drive home last night, the first thing I did was check my phone to see if you had posted. I went to bed with a smile on my face, breathing a prayer of thanksgiving!

Prayers continue for you, as the news goes out to your parishioners. May they show the same kind of grace and love that the lay leaders in your church did.

Love,
Doxy

That Other Jean said...

Once in a while my faith in the innate decency of human beings seems justified. This is one of those times. I'm delighted for you and yours, and hope that all the meetings to follow are just as successful.

Joan said...

I'm so glad that your meeting went well! Prayers going up.

Choralgirl said...

Great big, Lando Calrissian-style "HYEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!"

:-) And a big hug for you.

Jane R said...

Wonderful. I posted a link last night (with some appropriate music) and neglected to write you! Continuing to pray with you today.

Mary Sue said...

*dances*

Josephine- said...

I've been quietly holding my breath and waiting. So happy to hear such a response. The Spirit is obviously working with the leaders of your congregation, but it also speaks to the good work you have done among them as well!

Blessings!
Jo

--Susan said...

Cecilia,
Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You and the people who love you have been much in my prayers.

Your latest post was such a delight.

I know God will be with you the rest of your journey. I look forward to hearing how you are.

Hmm. Do you have to change the name of your blog??

--Susan

motheramelia said...

I am sure that the comment that good things are happening in that church and that you are one of the good things made all the difference. It was brave of you and those who responded so positively. Wonderful news.

PamBG said...

I'm crying and so pleased that the people at this meeting were so insightful and sensible.

May God continue to bless you on your journey.

suzanne said...

I had waited all evening for you to reply, but went to bed early. This post now has me teary eyed. I am so proud of you and Beloved for your courage, and as I said the other day the loving and thoughtful way you went about preparing yourself to speak to members of your counsel. (They are very thoughtful people, BTW)

So you are Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, you're FREE AT LAST!!!

KJ said...

See? It's kind of like sky diving -- exhausting and completely exhilarating.

THANKS BE TO GOD!

PseudoPiskie said...

My prayers continue for the journey ahead may be very frustrating. Meanwhile enjoy the love and support your parish is providing. It's what we don't know that we resist. People need to know more folks who are perfectly normal just differently loving. Well done, Cecelia.

Anonymous said...

Blessings to you as prayers continue. This is a great step into a new life of freedom!Dn January.

LiturgyGeek said...

May blessings abound! I'm brand-new to your blog, and what a wonderful story to begin with.

Sarah said...

You don't know me and I don't know you, but my heart is singing for you -- and for humankind!! -- right now. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Jennifer said...

I was actively praying all evening--and even now, knowing the congregation was receiving your letter. The door for you was swung wide open over these past few days, and though the church might have only given you a crack, I hope you are feeling flooded with light. It is beautiful to stand in one's truth. Others' reactions are their own, and how wonderful that you have done the hard work to keep your boundaries clear on that. Congratulations!

parodie said...

I'm so thrilled for you that they were so supportive!! So, so wonderful.

Sara said...

Woo hoo! Hallelujah! I couldn't get at the computer yesterday so I wondered and worried all day. This is fantastic. God is working. It sounds like you have a fantastic congregation.

Love and prayers as you continue this journey.

Jules said...

so glad it went well. I will be praying for you still. :) blessings to everyone!

holyfoolishness said...

This is such great news! Sending many, many blessings to you and your beloved!

John Shuck said...

Wow! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your journey and this great news with us!

Jan said...

I'm a little late in saying how glad I am. Good people; good community; good church; good pastor!

JCF said...

Also late to the party---

Thanks be to God! :-D

JCF, from MadPriest's