Welcome to our second weekly Art Friday post.
Our community is still reeling from the massacre at Pulse, the gay night club in Orlando where 49 people, mainly LGBTQ+ people of color, were murdered and another 53 injured. Some of our LGBTQ+ community members have written blogs in response, which you can find here, here, here, and here. As staff, we plan to post some of our own reflections in the days to come.
In the midst of these tragic events this summer, several denominations are having important policy conversations about their LGBTQ+ members. Wendy, our Executive Director, is a member of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), and through her, many LGBTQ+ people in the CRC have found their way into our community. This week, that denomination held their annual Synod in Grand Rapids, where they discussed a report offering pastoral guidance for churches regarding same-sex marriage. The report was prepared over a period of three years by a diverse committee (including Wendy), and offered some freedom for pastors to exercise their discretion as they journey with same-sex couples in their church. Sadly this report was not adopted by Synod; instead a much stricter minority report drafted by two dissenting members of the committee was adopted, restricting pastors, elders and deacons from participating in same-sex weddings, and restricting same-sex couples from church membership.
For today’s Art Friday post, we are honored to share a poem Eric Van Giessen wrote in response watching the livestream of these events at Synod. Eric is a member of our Kitchener Generous Space Group, and is the son of a CRC church planter. He writes:
“I was somehow pulled to watching the Christian Reformed Church Synod meeting Wednesday night where they were set to discuss LGBTQ inclusion and pastoral care based on a committee report that took years to complete. I hadn’t planned to watch it, but after the livestream was complete an underlying feeling of illness that’s been present since the Orlando shooting on Sunday sunk a little deeper. These are my reflections.”
by Eric Van Giessen
I have my passport ready,
becomes cause to question my belonging.
exclude me and to address my issues.
irrelevant to the current cause.
rainbow free since 1973* and beyond.
too often sung.
Mother’s house by hatred and fear.
and reveal the Kingdom.
* 1973 was the year that the CRC’s current position on homosexuality was passed, declaring that a homosexual orientation is not sinful, but homosexual activity is sinful.
** The decision to adopt the stricter minority report passed with a vote of 110-71.
*** The CFAC is the Covenant Fine Arts Centre where the Synod gathering is being held.