The RCA General Synod in June 2016 voted on a couple of major changes to the way our Constitution treats marriage. The first is to add the 2002 marriage liturgy to our Constitution, including the description of a marriage as being between “a man and a woman.” The second is a change to the Book of Church Order which states that consistories “shall assure that marriages in a church or congregation are between a man and a woman.” If you can figure out how either of these things would work or even what the latter means, God bless you, but they have now been passed on for the classes to vote over the next year. If they receive 2/3 affirmative votes from the classes, and are ratified by next year’s General Synod, they will become part of our Constitution.
Because of the number of people who were hurt by the rhetoric used at General Synod, and are anxious about the decisions to come, I started this project, in which I am collecting letters from LGBTQ people and allies around the RCA. People affected by these decisions are invited to submit letters expressing their pain, anger, sadness, fear – and hope. If you are such a person, please consider submitting a letter to email@example.com. They can be published with your full name, first name only, or anonymously, and with any biographical information you think is useful. The letters will be collected into some vast artistic project yet to be determined, that will hopefully be able to be displayed during next year’s General Synod.
The point of this project is not to tear down those who oppose us. It is to allow for the voices of those who have been silenced to be heard. It is to provide a space of shared grief. It is to let us tell our own stories, especially those of us whose stories are too often told by others without our consent and in words we would never use.
I invite you to participate, to ask questions, to engage, but most of all, to listen.