Today's retreat for our flowering LGBT Ministry was much better than I expected - in fact, not what I expected at all. Led by a wonderful man who has been affected by the discrimination shown LGBT people, the retreat proceeded from why we joined the group originally to how the group has/is changing/is being now to what we are about to naming the group ---- and only then did we consider structure. We decided on a steering group with leadership functions instead of positions. Of course, functions have names - a coordinator because someone has to be named for contact, a finance person to handle money, a scribe to handle minutes and a communications person to handle getting out the word about the LGBT Ministry. We decided that four people were not enough; so the fifth person volunteered to help do the work in the steering group. No votes were taken except for the name and that was by consensus.
I even volunteered to be the communications person for the group...so I have all the big worksheets to transcribe and send to the group. I like doing that. Since I spent about 20 years in advertising and public relations, I should be able to do that job well. And, I can do most of it from home without worrying about being somewhere early in the mornings (which I don't do well).
This minimalist structure and the cohesion of the group will lead, I believe, to having a maximum effect on the ministry actions that we hope to attain. We are writing a mission statement that will help guide our work - welcome, ministry, action. Our first effort is hosting one of the Thursday soup luncheons during Lent.
Much emphasis was put on membership in the group being OPEN. No requirements for doing other things in the church, no requirements that you be a member of the church, no requirements that you be Christian, no requirements except respecting the dignity of all people, which is in our baptismal covenant. I like that. All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.
We had eucharist at the end of the retreat work, and I thought, "This is my church. Someday I may move into the church building across the street, but, for now, this group, this confederacy is my church."
I bless God for giving me such an appropriate community in which to worship.
Christ Church across the street