If you are attending #RioTxAC, you have likely received a ride from the United Methodist Men (UMM). These jolly fellows, always quick with a smile and a joke while they are on golf cart duty, graciously provide rides for those parking a distance from the convention center. It is a very helpful ministry, one that touches me every day of Annual Conference.
You may also have noticed that several wear white stoles approximately the size/shape of Reconciling Ministries Team rainbow stoles. And if you look closely enough, you can read the dark stitching: “Adam and Steve” with a circle surrounding the words and a line diagonally over to “cross out” the words. As in, “No Adam and Steve.” It leaves the viewer to infer, “God Created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, a line heard from time to time used as a way to diminish, discount, and deny the beauty of God’s creation. It leaves me feeling very sad to see such a witness. As a friend yesterday said, “Can you imagine that someone took the time to carefully hand-craft that message of exclusion and discrimination?”
Moving beyond my initial emotional response, I begin to ponder the logic behind the statement. Do the UMM wearers think that God should have stopped with the first type of every thing created? Should there be only one kind of horse, tree, and flower? Should we only have oaks shading our parks, and only bluebonnet fields (my favorite!) to admire in the spring? For that matter, what about skin color? Adam and Eve were “white”, if most Bible illustrations are to be believed, are we next to say that people of color are not also part of God’s plan? Without diversity, God’s world would be far less interesting, and so much less beautiful than it is today. Diversity is God’s gift to us, and it is my prayer this last morning of Annual Conference that we can all find some time to reflect on that for the remaining hours of this SWTX/Rio Grande/Rio Texas Annual Conference.
All shall be well,
SWTX Reconciling Ministries Team