"Whaccha doin' Sunday?"

My friends and I are fond of a good card game tradition on Sunday nights. No gambling, just cards, food, and tall tales. So when one of the crew called me on Friday and asked, “Whaccha doin’ Sunday?” I told him I was spending my day talking to people of faith in different parts of the state about the ban. He told me cards sounded more interesting, but the work part was more important.

It certainly was important for me to be in Watertown on Sunday morning at the First Congregation Church, UCC. (Important side-note, Watertown is close to being the reddest area of the state.) Several volunteers and passionate people of faith from Orchard Ridge UCC Church in Madison told their stories to the congregation after a lunch meal. They did a wonderful job presenting the important facts of the ban and its impact on people of faith all around Wisconsin. It is tough to talk to a conservative area of the state as a gay person.

I think everyone learned an important lesson at the meeting. God’s love sees no difference between gay and straight people, but in the heat of our passion, we often forget that it sees no difference between conservatives or liberals. There were many self-avowed conservatives in the audience at Watertown that are grappling with the issue themselves in the church and about the ban. We must always remember to speak in love to all people. There is no room for rhetoric in our discussions with people of faith, only the words of our hearts spoken in agape love.

Later in the day, I traveled along with one of our great volunteers to Oshkosh for a “People of Faith” meeting at First Congregational Church. There UCC members, Catholics, Presbyterians, Unitarians, and many others gathered to plan a regional strategy to the faith outreach efforts. It was a great night, with a lot of political and social diversity in the room from the Greens to Libertarians.

Together the group has laid out plans and brainstormed wonderful ideas to engage the faith communities and also present a visible show of the faith community to the region. This group is energized and ready to move the church forward in this debate. It’s something that should be a great encouragement to everyone watching this campaign and interested in our efforts. These people of faith are living out St. Paul’s words, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God…” (Romans 1:16). They are gearing up to speak the words of love to the people of the Fox Valley, and words of love win people to our way of thinking.

Overall, my friend was right and wrong about the day. Going to the meetings was definitely more important than cards but it also was much more interesting than another losing hand in poker! I would say it was a royal flush of a day!

Peace, Eric


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Mike Fitzpatrick said...

Watertown is where FRI's Juliane Appling lives. She has served on both the school board and the library board there. I don't think it is very easy to check out a copy of "Heather Has Two Mommies" there!


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