Something in me was stirred once again, as it has been stirred in me in recent times... It's the niggle that allows me the chance to consider just what does radical love and radical inclusion look like?
The first time I had that stirring, that niggle, was in the months leading up to the 2007 Midwinter Gathering of Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns. That particular February, we met in Greensboro, North Carolina where all branches of Quakerism are represented. It was a confluence of our wider Quaker family, and I feel as though we--the FLGBTQC community--moved beyond being primarily a Liberal community of Quakers, as we met and welcomed into our fold a number of our FUM and Conservative sisters and brothers.
...Or again even more recently at this past Midwinter Gathering, early in 2008, when advance work was done and was sustained throughout the weekend, to increase the likelihood that more of our chemically sensitive sisters and brothers, and more of our transgender/genderqueer sisters and brothers would be more at home among us in more places at the facility where we were...
Now, regarding the actions of FUM's North Carolina Yearly Meeting of laying down a meeting that had affirmed the personhood of people who identify as gay or lesbian:
I admit, while my initial response was "Boo for the yearly meeting; yay for City View Quaker Church," I am thankful to a few Friends whose words remind me of this part of the vision and scope of FLGBTQC:
We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony and life.
Q U E R I E S
When I'm so often away from others who can give me courage to look at my own prejudice and bias, how can I singly live into the promise of radical inclusion and radical love on my own?
When I have no personal relationship with the individuals and groups (who are also my brothers and sisters, distant cousins) who seem to judge unfairly others of us in God's family, how can I do this inward work faithfully and in love?
Wow, do I have work to do.
UPDATE, Fourth Month 2008: I have now posted my own working definition of "radical love." For sure it will continue to evolve as my own experiences change.