Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Travelogue – Taking inclusion seriously

Sunday, May 1

This morning was the first time I was really glad I had an umbrella.

I didn't account for the less-frequent Metro schedule on Sundays, so I was late for the morning service. Walking through steady rain also slowed me down. I attended a service at Foundry United Methodist Church. It joined the Reconciling Ministries Network of LGBT friendly United Methodist churches 20 years ago. One feature of the service was prayers for those going to General Conference, which starts in 9 days. The pastor is a delegate, so has a vote in the various issues. She also named a couple other delegates, though I don't know how they are acquainted with this particular church. She called to the front all those who will be going to GC to advocate for our cause (what I did 4 years ago). When they assembled I counted 17 across the front, not including the pastor. This is quite a commitment from one church. They take inclusion seriously.

This was Youth Sunday at this church so youth took part in most aspects of the service, including two pairs of youth describing what this church and their faith means to them. Twin boys did the Children's Moment. They told about a time when they were listening to the children's speaker. This person wanted to make the point that we're all different and we all have our own talents. But this speaker had a rocky start when she asked, "Does anyone look exactly like you?" The twins made a big show of nodding to each other.

The walk back to the Metro was drier. But the long service and Metro's Sunday schedule meant I didn't get to Cousin's community and her car until 1:45. She took me to a restaurant for a delicious lunch. We talked about the service as we ate. She said "I don't understand why anyone would think full inclusion is a bad idea." After lunch we went back to her house so I could finish packing. She took me to the airport.

The flight boarded on time. But the truck attached to our nose to push us back from the gate had stopped working. We had to wait until another one was available. Once we got to near the start of the runway the control tower guided us into a waiting area. There we sat for 50 minutes. Part of it was to wait out some serious weather along the route and part of it was the normal flight lanes were full of other planes from as far away as New York getting around the storm. We got into Detroit an hour late.

The calendar said spring and the azaleas were in full bloom. But most of the week was at least overcast and cool and there was rain a couple days. I definitely didn't need sunscreen. Even so, it was a relaxing week, good for a break from my regular responsibilities. A big thank you to Cousin who provided a place to stay and some companionship during the week.

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