Passion (from the Latin verb patior, meaning to suffer or to endure, also related to compatible) is an emotion applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love.I am very passionate, but generally do not wear my emotions on my sleeve. You won't find me on any steps in rally, or carrying a sign that shouts my viewpoint with marker or megaphone. Actually, it's been a long time since I have been fired up about a cause, but recent events at church have my blood pressure up. Not to go into the details too deeply, as you can read it on the link attached, but the ECLA has recently voted to open the Lutheran ministry to "gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships." Halleljuah! Fantastic, right? Well, not everyone believes this is a good thing. I, on the other hand, am so elated to hear that we are moving forward, as a church, to the 21st century of open and welcoming arms. Yet there are those who can say and cite references in the Bible that this is clearly not what God intended. I cannot cite such passages to the contrary, nor do I wish to get into fisticuffs over it... but what I DO know is that I am preaching acceptance and diversity to MA BOYS and I am thrilled beyond words that this is happening in my lifetime.
Following is an email I sent to a youth pastor in my church, the day that word of their non-acceptance got me all riled up:
I feel compelled to reach out once again again to the youth pastors at Calvary (and please feel free to share). Let me start by saying that I did not attend the meeting on Sunday night, so I am a little behind in who believes what in our church home. And while I don't know where the youth pastors stand on this whole issue of gay & lesbian Lutherans, I know where I think they should stand. We are raising our children to be followers of God, with an open mind and the ability to worship Him in any way they are able. First and foremost, we are accepting. As a parent, I've had a large hurdle myself in accepting my eldest son's choice in not being confirmed. I have two more boys coming up in Calvary's youth ranks. They love Calvary. We love the youth ministry, the camp experience, the music and the family that we've become a part of... and hope to maintain for years to come.
After reading the Calvary eNews, then the ECLA link, I was very disheartened. I was looking for a way to express myself in my blog and started looking for images. I Googled "child of God" this morning. I came across this website and the music video that was subsequently released along with Jaeson Ma's new song. It would be my hope that you find time to share this with the youth of Calvary. It's very inspirational. It foretells of a world where we all believe in His love and one another.
I guess I don't know what I'm trying to get across by this email other than speaking my mind to a member of the staff ~ to someone whom I feel can help make a difference in shaping the church of tomorrow. What should be the Church of today. I've not been one to quote scripture in person before. However, there are quite a few passages recently that I might begin to memorize when faced with such discerning opinions on what the Holy Spirit is moving us to do.
I pray that he gives you strength to lead our children. To help open the eyes of the church elders. And to continue blessing those around you with YOUR presence in His word.
Julie Foreman (mother of 3 boys)
I have received replies back from more than one individual at Calvary. Right now, I guess I'll wait and see where this goes. I pray daily that His guiding hands will show us the way to live in a world that is accepting of all people, regardless of whom they love. Because if you ask my son, Henry, he will tell you that "we can't help who we love, we just fall in love" and we are all children of God.
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.