The Answer is Still No

10 Questions for an LGBTQ-Considering Church

Seven years ago our college freshman surprised us with a letter home, telling us she was attracted to women. Hannah had been a model youth group kid in high school, committed to her small group, working with children, and leading worship. Unbeknownst to us all, while busy pursuing her faith and ministry, she had also been trying to “pray it away.” She was taking the approach prescribed by the church she was born into and raised by, the church that said this  prescription came from the Bible.

For that and myriad other reasons, I left that church about five years ago, and have been worshiping elsewhere in town. Leaving a two-decade relationship with a church where I was a leader for adults and children, for worship and small groups – and where I started and raised my family and was generally “all in” – has not been easy; it’s been filled with deep loss, deep questions, and in many ways a reshuffling of social life in a small town.

My experience, and my daughter’s experience are different, but both have led me to ask these 10 questions of my former church and other churches willing to converse. These questions aren’t easy, nor were they easy to form – I’ve waited nearly seven years to ask them so directly. 

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The Disinherited

It’s said that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. travelled with a copy of Howard Thurman’s seminal book, Jesus and the Disinherited. “Considering the generations-long relationships between the King and Thurman families, Martin likely had the message of these pages etched on his heart,” writes Vincent Harding in the book’s forward.

I’ve been marinating on this book since November’s book club, and keep coming back to its central question, a haunting one which hides itself in the book’s title.

I’ll get to that question in a minute.

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2021 Year-End Lists

Albums and Shows That Engaged Me This Year


It’s been such a joy to have friends share in this year-end tradition by writing their own lists! Make sure to check them all out at FridaySwell, a Medium Publication I created with hopes of more collaborative writing in the future.  For continuity sake, I’m posting my list again here on weekendswell, but head on over to FridaySwell to read mine alongside others.

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Time to Read Some Favorites

This is my favorite thing: reading your favorites lists.

I asked if anyone wanted to write their Year-End Lists alongside me, and so many of you have! We’re currently publishing those, 1-2 per day from now til the New Year, over at a https://medium.com/fridayswell .

You’ll learn about Rosemary’s favorite restaurants, Cathi’s favorite books, 11-year old Isaiah’s favorite shows (make sure to mind his warning about inappropriate content in one of them).

This is just a short note inviting all Weekendswell readers to check out a new site called FridaySwell each day for a new “Top 5” list.

You’ll find some new music from Hannah, and Gryffin, some soulful reads from Cari, and Nancy’s top book of the year (one I also read and loved). I especially like the eclectic lists – one of this and one of that from Geordie, Patty, and Zach (hint: one of them mentions Pickleball, sport of the future).


We’re already underway so if you check there now you’ll see three or four, but go back often so you don’t miss any of them. (I’ll send a final reminder around New Years’ Day.)

Oh, and if you were thinking of writing something it’s not too late! Just see here for further hints.

Hope your holidays are bright,

Dan


P.S. every link on this page points to the same spot, but in case you missed it: https://medium.com/fridayswell

What are your 2021 Favorites?

I’ve been publishing my yearly Favorites for 3 years now, and it’s getting lonely. A few people write back and tell me their favorites, or how they did (or didn’t!) like some of mine, and I want to know more.  (My friend Tom nearly panned one of my top albums of 2020, saved only by the one cover song on the album.) 


Would you consider writing your own “Top 5” list this year?

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Thanksgiving Showers

Skittering around the edge of the crowd, Penny did not approach me directly. Her dirty pink cap followed her eyes downward, arms folded tightly across her chest, she walked quickly, perhaps hoping I would notice and spare her the bravery of talking. And I did.

“Are you here for a shower today, Penny?”

Her head nodded quickly and I’d barely confirmed her on the list before she darted off to a distant bench, awaiting her turn.

Penny (not her real name) and a couple dozen others show up on Mondays at the shower truck in front of St. Mike’s church in Isla Vista, and for the last month, so have I.

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Church & Frenemies

Mars Hill Reflection 4

WEEK 4

Maybe you are too – but I’m getting a little tired of Mark Driscoll. It has been a great prompt for conversation and writing about the church in context, culture, and gender, but unless the final two episodes bring something new to the table, this will be my last related post, and I promise to barely talk about him.

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