A plea, with love and grief

I write with a plea to support the Resolution for Repentance and Transformation that will be presented to the Mennonite Church USA special delegate assembly. Mennonite institutions desperately need a sincere repentance for the harm they have committed against LGBTQ+ people and an urgent commitment to reconciliation.

I write as a member of the queer community and as one with Mennonite roots. It is frightening to share this part of myself. I grew up in a Mennonite church in small-town Kansas. I went to Sunday school, was baptized in high school and made zwieback for the Mennonite Central Committee sale. It took me until I was out of college to come out to myself as a bisexual and queer woman. It is taking me even longer to feel settled in my own skin and to unlearn the harmful teachings that made me contort myself to fit an unnatural mold and miss out on the full possibilities of joy.

The places where LGBTQ+ people should be most safe — places of faith — are often the very places that provide the language and the fuel and the excuse for the machines of hate. Many Mennonite churches and other houses of faith have become LGBTQ+ affirming. This gives me hope. But official Mennonite conference policies rooted in discrimination continue to perpetuate physical, emotional and spiritual violence.

There is so much I still love about this church family. So I write this with both love and grief. We urgently need safety, healing and a transformed church.

Erin Wiebe, Cambridge, Mass.

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

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