Will found the Communion goblet and plate (complete with pita bread) and I quipped, "You found Jesus." As reply, he quoted, "They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have put him." FTW.
Prelude: I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry" (verses 3, 4, 1)
The Opening Hymn was "Gather Us In" (TFWS 2236) which I quite liked. (I may have to actually purchase myself a hymnal as finding the words to these hymns online is often unsuccessful.)
The Special Music was "Bring Many Names" (TFWS 2047), which I didn't have a problem with (this is moderately high praise for me given it's one of those hippy-dippy inclusive language songs).
Scripture: Psalm 42 & Galations 2:23-29
In the Children's Time, Marla talked about we have different names that we're called by different people and also how we have different dreams -- both different from other people and also we ourselves have many different dreams at the same time -- and similarly God has many names and also many dreams (for us). It wasn't actually as lame as I make it sound.
Marla gave the sermon, and she began by talking about a Learning Workshop she went to at Annual Conference. Ted Wilkins of Transforming Congregations (who's not Methodist, was hired by the Conference -- which is problematic in and of itself). She said she felt that as a straight ally she had a responsibility to go to the workshop. My interpretation of this was that we need to know what the other side is saying, but it's not fair to ask actual queer people to suffer through that because it could be really painful; which made total sense but which was interesting to me because I totally jump at going to stuff like that -- though on reflection I recall telling Joe F. in a letter how one of his columns had literally made me want to cry -- "(because these are my rights that you want to let people vote on)" -- so I'm not entirely immune from feeling personally attacked and thus in pain.We did the hymn "You Are Mine" (TFWS 2218) throughout the service -- Call to Prayer, Offertory Hymn, post-Communion hymn, and Grace.
She read us the workshop title/blurb and also the text from the Transforming Congregations website homepage -- basically a "kindler gentler" ex-gay program -- and obviously I understand the aversion reaction from this queer church, but I'm always like half a step from actually being sold on the argument that the Bible condemns homosexuality, and whenever I'm presented with arguments from either side I start thinking about how similar arguments could be applied to something that side really doesn't support. Though ultimately I always end up coming down on the side of: relationships of mutuality between consenting adults = good. Anyway, there were a couple of points I would have been interested in discussing with Marla later, but partly it didn't seem worth it and partly I was more interested in talking ASL with Kirk and Liz.
She talked about the purpose of the law being to "keep order and be in right relationship with God," which I liked a lot.
She referenced the line from the Prelude (which Will sang): "If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one, I'll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk till rising sun." and pointed out that "from dusk till rising sun" is night-time and hi, sex . . . talking about how God is present with us in our embodiment, in all of our embodiments, "closer to us than our own breathing" (where is that from exactly, btw?).
Another of her repeated lines which I think I didn't quite get jotted down correctly was: "Our deepest desires are the marks of the Maker and Spirit within us."
She closed with an excerpt from an e-mail Tallessyn had sent her in response to hers about the Special music, in part of which Tallessyn talked about the importance of equality and how equal does not mean same, cf. the equals sign, which is placed between two equations which are not the same.
I may have a roommate for Convo. Laura may be going, so Marla asked me what I was doing for housing and I told her I'd gotten my own hotel room and was happy to share.
[It is kind of ridiculous how much this is like WriterCon '06 in my head -- 'cause, queer con down South where I know people but am going on my own.]
Given how enthusiastic Will has been, including signing at every opportunity, I was surprised that he didn't sit near me and Kirk at dinner and force me to sign. He was sitting with Rob (whom they had met at Conference and who's sharing a room with them at Convo but who hadn't been to CWM before) which was of course totally fine, and of course he did join us later.
I am so at sea understanding even basic signing, it's so fast. And I'm not good at mimicking signs either. (I am way less of a gnostic than I used to be, but I'm still so bad at being embodied.)
Kirk taught us some signs we didn't know, like "sorry" and "slowly," and explained some of the ASL grammar.
He's also great about giving the why's for signs -- sister (woman+same), transgender (beauty, but at the torso rather than the face), Protestant is kneeling (which I think is kinda lame), Lutheran is an L at a door which is awesome I think (95 theses!), Episcopal is miming the sleeve (but not "trash), and Methodist is miming enthusiasm. He also told us a little about ASL poetry, and ABC poems are AWESOME. I hadn't quite realized what it was when he was explaining, but then he demonstrated and, omg AWESOME.
Kirk says the Name Sign Will thought of for me is v. awkward and breaks too many rules of ASL grammar (yeah, this is would be why they don't let hearing people create their own Name Signs). He also explained that part of the fact that it's given you by a Deaf person rather than you making your own is that it's used to refer to you when you're not present.