Home Again, Home Again – Reflection on Queermergent’s 1 Year Anniversary
It has been said before how I personally left the conversation (most know it as Emergent/gence), but I think it is important to highlight one thing that may have been over looked. My re-entrance to the conversation was truly marked by finding Queermergent. You might say Queermergent has saved me on some levels. I still cannot forget seeing Becky Garrison’s post on Facebook where she had joined a group called “Queermergent.” With that post and crazy other events I found out about this place of safety and to let my voice be heard. This may not seem much to some, but for me at that and even now it is life saving. Here is why it has been:
When I came across Queermergent I was just feeling so alone. I felt that anything PoMo/EC was not a place for me or anyone LGBT honestly. However, I stood on the edges Queermergent for a couple of months. I read Hugh’s posts and some others in some kind of guarded awe. It all seemed too neat and tied up for me. I just couldn’t believe this place was not filled with debates and defense. Through another strange event I found Adele’s post on Emerging Women blog. I read Adele’s post there which ended up in a little conversation between her and me. This conversation encouraged me to dive in and to just enter. With that “chance” I found community. A rich one I did not know I would come to cherish so much. I feel a deep connection with most and many of us have never met. There are those who challenge me, those who teach me and those who just sit beside me in my journey. I have also felt blessed to be by many of you in your journey as well. It has been an amazing thing to see and be a part of. It has become a beautiful quilt of art work that many of us have taken time to work together to do. It is a community that many of us have found here. Now more than ever we cannot deny that the beauty of this quilt is real for us in some way or other. The threads carry us through and good times. For me this community has given me a family I needed.
Yes, courage. I would have never pursued so much this year had it not been for Queermergent. Christianity21 is an example of this new found courage. I found that because so many of us are standing in the gap for one another that my voice is important. For me to hide behind some fear or question will not help someone who maybe questioning , needs an answer to a question or just someone who can say, “I get it!” If it isn’t my voice, it is someone else’s that must come through. For me I now have the place to connect someone who needs one of you to speak. From those who are allies trying to gap former beliefs, those dealing with a loved one coming out, those dealing with their sexuality and bridging all of this to a place of Christ followers. Yes, courage has been found within all these voices taking chances and therefore how can I sit back with my fellow risk takers.
#3: I MUST be honest
I think it is easy for us in the LGBTQA (and the rest of the alphabet) to be honest about a place in the church at large. It is in our face, because it’s an important place for us, of course. However, there is a challenge that I feel we are still working through here and the honesty that we are still working through it. What is that honesty? The honesty that even we, the Queer community (followers of Christ at that), still have questions on those within our community must be answered. And not just answered, but given the same care we ask from our “straight” family. Honesty to say, I’m not comfortable, but I’m willing to join your journey is important, but beyond that is the strength to take time to enter their journey with loving acceptance. I know for myself, I am challenging myself further in this area this coming year. I cannot ask for something that I maybe, knowing or unknowingly, not giving to another person.
#4: Lessons of the “other”
The sweetest lesson and most challenging are the lessons of the “other”. Through every post I have read and have commented on I have been challenged with the “other.” Seeing what makes someone different, what makes them tick, what makes them the same as me and a complete bridge of it all. The making of the quilt work that makes community messy and beautiful, even complete is found when one starts to look at the “other.” Some would think this lesson is easy and they might be correct. However, there are some of us who struggle in the journey of the “other” and even understanding what this means. I’ve slowly learned how to see this and it has been through the posts here that have helped me lift that cover. Cory’s posts have been an example of this. She always seems to leave the question laid in a question of “the other.” Another example would be sitting in a booth with a new dear friend, Rachel. Watching how she took threads of difference, took her needle, then gently and something times with a hard tug wove people together to know each other in the space of “the other.” Yes, Queermergent has offered a hard challenge for me and others to open our eyes to “the other.” Our gift back can only be said in “pay it forward.” To dig deep within each of ourselves to find “the other” in everyone and to let this to help us make a difference.
Queermergent is a deep resource for the conversation. I have come to believe it is a real place for the emergence conversation. It is a place that is vital to the conversation and those who desire to make it missional and organic. As we work together here and other parts of the conversation we bring inclusion and community that is deeper than just who we are at face value, but our journeys make the larger piece of quilt work that is making a world change. Yes, Polly Anna at her best? Maybe, but just maybe, Queermergent has given me those glasses to push forward and to not give up hope, but to remember the large piece that we are working for. Happy anniversary Queermergent! May more years come of lessons and support continue to be here for all.
Jules currently lives in a small town in the bootheel of Missouri. She is currently a student at Southeast Missouri University and studying Exceptional Children/Elementary Education with hopes to work with children who are on the autistic spectrum and earn a Masters degree as a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst. Julie was raised in a strong Christian home that taught her the strong value of community and in some ways is your typical PK. She has always been in a dance with her Abba from a young age and will continue the turns, twist, and beauty of it.