A few days ago we received this email from Ellen.
Thank you Ellen for sharing your response and allowing us to share it with others.
I hope this finds you well. I just wanted to write in to say ‘thanks’… (sorry for the length!).
Travelling home on the tram today (13/9), the ‘yes’ sign caught my eye in your church window. It’s been an interesting few weeks, for all of us in regards to the impending plebiscite!
I have a Pentecostal background, and although I’d be hesitant to say that I still have a faith now, at 30, as a gay woman who has only recently come out, in this recent marriage equality debate, I’ve realised I still have an internal narrative of a doctrine that isn’t inclusive, even though I disagree with it! I guess it’s ingrained?! I’ve been so encouraged to see so many churches and people of faith get on board with an affirming message, but I guess those old doubts still linger.
However, on the tram, my eyes fell on the remarkably simple, and utterly striking ‘display’ of the cross of Christ, standing over a rainbow of material… I don’t know what it was exactly about it that reduced me to tears (good ones!) on the tram. Ha. I think it’s been easier for me to understand that there are affirming Christians, who may ‘accept’ all people, but not necessarily agree that who those people are, is actually ok. That installation, sparked a little idea that perhaps, Christ himself, is ok with who I am. Whether I believe in him or not. If ever I were to return to a place of faith, a God who embraces ‘no strings attached’ is One I could ascribe to following.
The installation reminded me of the fact that the Church really is after all, the body of Christ. Made up of people who are learning to love, as He loved. I read your statement online about such acceptance – it is a rare thing indeed to come across a church (or anywhere really) that walks with such humility and openness to admit fallibility. That to me is the greatest sign of strength and conviction.
So, in less words – thank you. So much. Thank you to whoever made that installation, to whoever is in your leadership teams – I suspect I’ll look back on this moment as a rather pivotal one – thank you for being the catalyst for it.
My warmest regards, and utmost gratitude,