I am Cara Oosterhouse, co-president of the All One Body board. This past Thursday I was honored to join several other gay and lesbian Christians at the Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids Michigan to talk specifically about what those seven Bible verses regarding homosexual activity and in general about our faith. The night was filled with beautiful Christians professing their love and faith for their Lord and what He has done for us. If you would like to see more photos, please visit our Facebook page.
Here is the text of my remarks from the evening.
I am Cara Oosterhouse. I identify as a lesbian and I am a member of the Christian Reformed Church. I am also co-president of All One Body, a group of CRC folks working for inclusion in the denomination. We have information on the table in the lobby if you want to learn more about us.
The period of time when I came out to myself and to others was a very difficult time in my life, but it was also when I spent a great deal of time in conversation with God. It was a rich time in my faith formation and I always felt the love of God.
All the hours spent in Christian Sunday school and day school really helped lay the foundation I would need later to struggle with my sexuality and my faith. Part of that reminds me that sometimes we need to step back to move forward. Tonight we spent a lot of time looking with a microscope at a very few verses in the Bible. I believe the Bible is a terrible “how to” guide for many issues. I am disheartened by those who would discount the Bible as just stories that teach us how to live a moral life. The Bible is the narrative that leads to our salvation and a narrative of God’s AMAZING GRACE!!
I would like to read a quote about that amazing grace from Brennen Manning, a Franciscan priest, who recently died. He writes:
My life is a witness to vulgar grace-a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wage as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten to five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck towards the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw him a party, no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request – please remember me- and assures him “YOU BET”. A grace that is the pleasure of the father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left his Father’s side not for heaven’s sake, but for OUR sake-yours and mine. This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap – ITS FREE, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try and find something or someone it cannot cover.
GRACE IS ENOUGH
HE IS ENOUGH
JESUS IS ENOUGH
THANKS BE TO GOD…..AMEN
From time to time a member of All One Body will post to this blog. We will also have guest commentary. Stay tuned!
Jesus Prays for All Believers: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-- I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
John 17:20-23 (NIV)