The act of standing with same-sex couples seeking God's and their communities' blessings, coupled with the greatly changing nature of what it means to be disciples of Christ in the 21st century, has helped me think long and hard about the future of our church.
Somehow in telling my own story, and for me in being as out and proud of my Christian story as I am of my gay story, it allows others to find their stories too. In that finding, in that telling, I believe we find God, and Jesus at work.
Many queer people walk away from the only kind of church they ever know, and they never look back. But Joey, with his boldness to integrate the faith of his childhood and the sexuality with which God has blessed him, has forever reframed Lent for me.
As service became a defining aspect of growing up in America, the infrastructure moved from the church to the schools and became so secularized that conversations around faith were discouraged -- even taboo.
The days were long, but the dedication of these volunteers was inspiring. When I would look around the room, I knew I wasn't surrounded by my regular church family, but I was surprised that it still felt like church for me.
We must stop seeing demographic changes as problems that must be leveraged in order to avoid death and instead see these changes as transformational realities that must be embraced in order to experience new life.
The preservation of the dignity of Haitian farmers wasn't merely a relief and recovery effort. It was a chance for Presbyterians to meet the responsibility God has given all of us to care for God's people in a way that is life affirming and empowering.
I see only one possibility for our society to move past and heal from our increasingly dangerous impasse: to have real conversations with one another. And I don't mean scripted, talking-point-filled debates that turn into a wrestling match.
At the General Assembly we watched Christian clergy and laypeople engaging in dialogue on a very difficult topic -- the Israeli occupation of the West Bank -- with respect, grace and open hearts. It is a true blessing to walk the path of peace with you in solidarity.
We talk a lot about the power of the religious right to negatively influence the fate of LGBT civil rights, but we are talking about the wrong religious right there. What LGBT people need now is not more of the religious right.
The mainstream U.S. press wrote quite extensively about last week's Presbyterian campaign for corporate social responsibility. Virtually all the headlines focused on the decision not to divest from corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation.
At the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, the commissioners emphasized the importance of alleviating suffering through the establishment of a just, peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- a profoundly pro-Israeli position.
It is impossible for me to believe that most people who hide behind the Bible or denominational polity haven't had more than ample time to recognize that those two things simply don't support their belief that homosexuality is a sin.
The fact that the "American Jewish establishment" could only muster a two-vote majority at the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly shows what the future holds for the Likudniks if they do not change their policies towards the Palestinians.
I understand that frustration is rising over diplomatic stagnation, and I know that advocates for peace are attracted to tactics like BDS that create the impression of action. But, to date, pursuit of these tactics has promoted little more than debate and division.
Amid conflict, naming divisions, dogma and disappointment is all too easy. Perhaps differences of opinion might be kept in check by focusing on the name of our neighbor in need. This is where unity matters. Our naming should be directed to their service.