At the Mennonite Church USA convention, attendees were asked by a worship leader to move from a diseased and disordered love — the church’s long history of putting an asterisk by its love — to a Jesus-shaped love. This was the best news ever to come out of a Mennonite convention.
Though I’m a Mennonite and an ordained minister, I have been part of the United Church of Christ, which has moved a Jesus-shaped love to the center of its life, offering an extravagant welcome to LGBTQ people.
It is a unique religious life when you follow someone who knew not where to lay his head. Foxes have holes, as do many religious folk who create and hide in holes for security.
As I’ve noticed the turmoil in Mennonite periodicals over accepting LGBTQ people, I have thanked God during every worship service in our local church or conference gathering. The energy, freedom, love and caring expressed for all of God’s people makes tears of joy well up in me.
I am thankful that many years ago courageous Christians decided to welcome these strangers when it was unpopular. They helped change the culture. It is my hope and prayer that Mennonites will find what the UCC and thousands of Jesus followers in many communions have experienced. Let others put asterisks by their love. It is not the Jesus way.