SWTX Annual Conference Week Story: JAN DAWES

Each day this week we will feature a story about a SWTX Conference Reconciling United Methodist to take us through Annual Conference, which begins this Thursday, June 6 in Corpus Christi, Texas.  These stories will also be featured at our SWTX Reconciling Ministries Team table.  We invite you to stop by and visit with us!

rainbowJan Dawes, a long-time lay member at First UMC Austin, TX is a proud Reconciling United Methodist.  She wrote this essay on Mother’s Day 2012.

“When I see a rainbow, it makes me want to be really sweet”, so said my 6 year-old daughter as we gazed at the sky.  That line has recurred to me often in the 30+ years since then.  It is evoked when I see a moon flower emerging from the drought-encrusted earth, when I hear my 88 year old dad waxing ecstatic about his weekly service at the soup kitchen, or when I spend time in the company of my grand-sons – bursting with joy, trust, and love.

Today, as I get dressed to go to church, I don my rainbow stole to proclaim my love- and God’s love- for ALL  (regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or race, sex, age, class…).   I am deeply saddened as I hear of the bullying that went on at the UMC General Conference recently.   I was appalled by the vote to continue to exclude our LGBTQ brothers and sisters!

I am buoyed as I hear of the love, generosity, forgiveness, and joy that filled the tabernacle set up by the Love Your Neighbor Common Witness Coalition at GC.   I am filled with that spirit as I gather with other members of the coalition.  I think of a line I wrote to my daughter once, “l love you more than is humanly possible”.

As I don my stole and head to church with a leaden heart, I know that it will lighten when I see the rainbows.

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