Together in Toronto

This past weekend Brett and I attended the 2006 Lutherans Concerned Assembly, Together in Toronto. This biennial event was ecumenical this time with the GLBT Lutherans joining with fellow queers from the United Church of Canada, Brethrens and Mennonites. Toronto is always a beautiful city and the University of Toronto and surrounding Midtown neighborhood was very Toronto-like.

The assembly did not really meet my expectations. It seemed to be watered down to meet all three groups’ needs. Most workshops were just a little too out there for me. As an IT person, these touchy, feely things just try my boundaries. Although I enjoy conferences since I can expand my horizons, this one just missed the mark for me.

In terms of Lutherans Concerned, I am amazed how it is growing and changing to better address the spiritual needs of GLBT Lutherans and their supporters. Brett and I were so impressed by the organization’s focus and work that we decided to pledge monthly and step up our involvement.

Brett and I received a very surprising recognition at a general business meeting. We were awarded honorary lifetime memberships for our work during the past twelve years as InfoX administrators. This job was born in 1994 as a need to get brochures and resources for our new and growing chapter. We volunteered to distribute the brochures for all chapters since no paid staff person was available to do it. Over the years, this developed into the information distribution arm of Lutherans Concerned. We grew by offering videos, Bible studies and many other resources. We even created an on-line shopping cart web site to purchase items via the web. Our spare closets, garage and basement overflowed with these resources. We opted to give up this job after my heart attack. We were expecting a certificate of recognition. We did not expect the lifetime membership, beautiful glass award and recognition in front of the assembly.

After my heart attack I have developed a desire to serve GLBT causes in a way that expands my spirituality and life. I pondered this at the assembly. After a lot of thought, I agreed to serve as the Region 6 (Ohio, Michigan and Indiana) Regional Co-Coordinator. I knew the position was open and I had an interest in parts of the job. There were other parts that were not in my comfort zone. It just so happened that Pastor Wendy from Toledo was also in the same position. We sat down one day at lunch to talk about Region 6 and came to the realization that together we could do the job. I very much look forward to this new endeavor. I look forward to working with Wendy and the chapters and members of Region 6. The job involves conversations with bishops and congregations; speaking at synod assemblies; and making LC visible in Region 6. These are areas in which I don’t feel entirely comfortable. In a way it seems daunting, but I somehow feel that it was meant to be for me. I am ready to grow. Time will tell.

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