Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ADVENT 2009 -- 1

+ Let's catch up with a series of Advent posts on the Presbyterian Welcome blog:

An introduction was posted on November 29, the first Sunday in Advent:

Advent Begins...

At church this morning, you may have heard someone read this:

“So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” -- Luke 21:31

When do you know that God's kin(g)dom is near? Every day during advent and up until the new year we will be posting sentences much like this one, each written by a different member of our community. We've got the official leaders of the LGBT Presbyterian movement, some of our member church pastors, board members, and many other less well-known but even more special voices to add. Please leave your comments during this time, either on the blog or via facebook, as we continue to expand and explore what it truly looks like for God's reign to be realized on Earth.

Advent: day 1

A friend of mine wrote this on her Facebook page: "At home, really sick. If I were straight and married to my domestic partner, I'd have insurance and I would go to the doctor and they would tell me whether or not I have H1N1. Instead, we have to have an affidavit notarized when she gets back and then send it to NYC and we might eventually get covered. Annoyed. Really, really achy." I found this heartbreaking, especially as one who enjoys the double privileges of both heterosexuality and marriage. Neither sexuality nor marital status should be the gauge by which we determine whether or not someone deserves health care. Everyone deserves health care, period. When health care is a reality for all -- for all -- then I will know the kingdom of God is near.
-- Rev. Ian Doescher, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Portland Oregon

Advent: day 2

When a developmentally delayed teenager who can barely form a coherent sentence affirms his faith and is received as an active member, I know that the kingdom of God is near.
-- John Edward Harris, North Church, Queens, Flushing NY

Advent: day 3

When I see hatred reduced to struggling for survival against love, I will know that the reign of God is near.
-- Jenny Howard, Louisville Seminary, Louisville, KY

Advent: day 4

When cynics' hearts melt, I know that the kingdom of God is near.
-- Rose Darling, Broadway Presbyterian Church Liaison to Presbyterian Welcome, New York City, NY

Advent: day 5

When I see the faces of my small congregation on Sunday mornings, in all their variety of age and color and culture and orientation, when I remember their hopes and fears and joys, sorrows, and triumphs and see that we are all still here together, I know that the kindom of God is near.
-- Rev. Bob Brashear
Pastor, West-park Presbyterian Church
Manhattan, Upper Westside

Advent: day 6

When I see a deer watching me through my window, defying the odds of all kinds of weather, traffic, and suburban development, I know that the kingdom of God is near.
-- Laura Cunningham, Pastor, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, NY

Advent: day 7

When I think of the people God has blessed me with, those who have brought me this far, I know the Kingdom of God is near.
-- Mieke Vandersall, Minister Director, Presbyterian Welcome

Advent: day 8

When people comment on preachers’ theology or insight or eloquence or even humor, and not their sexuality, I know that the kingdom of God is near.
-- Pam Byers, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, San Francisco

Advent: day 9

When everyone realizes & embraces themselves (and others) as created in God's image, unconditionally loved by God, and as children of God ...and all of us treat each other as sacred, then.......I know the kingdom of God is near.
-- Michael J. Adee, Executive Director & Field Organizer, More Light Presbyterians, Santa Fe, NM

+ I offered an Advent reflection on December 2: "Wake Up for Advent"

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