Bending a Little Faster Today

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
— Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I don’t know. Today, it sure feels like that arc is picking up a little steam.

My first thoughts on reading the Supreme Court decisions had to do with our families here at Northaven Church.

When the Supreme Court took up the Prop 8 case, I listened to the oral arguments. I was especially moved by the comments by Justice Anthony Kennedy (who authored today’s Prop 8 opinion)

“There are some 40,000 children in California” with same-sex parents and “they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?”

Yes! I do think!

And so, my first thoughts today were along the same lines. I felt deep happiness for the loving couples I have grown to know, love –and feel terribly honored to minister to– here at Northaven Church.

* Our lesbian and gay parents who are faithful church members and great parents….
* Older couples, like our beloved George and Jack, who I know are smiling today….

* Our “traditional” couple, and single parent families, who are at Northaven because they want to be in a blended church that teaches the values of faithfulness and monogamy between couples…
* Our great kids children and youth (from traditional and LGBT families) who now have more than just the love of their local church and friends. They have a message from their government that their families have value and worth!

I give thanks that the Supreme Court has acknowledged what we have known here at Northaven for many years: Loving, committed, monogamous gay and lesbian couples are no threat to traditional marriage.

Sunday, in worship planned months ago, we will celebrate the second week of our “Freedom is Coming!” series.

Even more to the point, the theme of the week is “Freedom to Love,” and the emphasis will be on Reconciling Ministries.

When we planned this a few months back, we could not have imagined that this “theme” would end up on the very Sunday after the Supreme Court ruling! It’s hard to fathom just how beautiful that is, and what a celebration of the movement of God’s Spirit Sunday will be.

I anticipate that it will be a great day of celebration, and maybe even tears of joy. I know you’ll want to be with us!

from Reconciling Ministries Network


Obviously, a main point I hope to make Sunday is about LOVE. That “love is love.” And that the love God calls us to is for an inclusion of all persons. Our love for LGBT persons –and our work to seek full inclusion for them in both civil law and the church– comes from God’s Great Commandment.

Which makes today seem like a good day to repost the blog I wrote some months back. “A Pastoral Case for Christian Same Sex Marriage” was written during the week the Supremes took up these cases. It seems like a good time to remind ourselves of this struggle.

Northaven’s “Welcome Statement”

But! That same love calls us to a love of ALL persons too. As we say in the Reconciling Movement, “All Means All.”

Our passion for inclusion extends to immigrants, ethnic minorities, those of different economic circumstances. We say these things in Northaven’s “Welcome Statement,” painted on the wall, outside the main sanctuary doors:

“Become we believe that God’s love in Jesus Christ has broken down the walls that divide us, we seek to embody that love by welcoming people of all ages, races, sexual orientation, or economics circumstances.”

Which brings me back to the other big Supreme Court decision this week on the Voting Rights Act. Longtime Northaven members will recall that our beloved saint, Judge Barefoot Sanders, was a key part of getting that legislation passed. During the push to pass that legislation, Barefoot was a key staff person for President Johnson on Capitol Hill.
So, as parts of that law are ruled unconstitutional, I could not help but remember him too. And the generations of Civil Rights leaders who passionately crafted that law. And I meditated on what we may be called to do to insure that our nation does not fall back in terms of civil rights.

Then, last night, I witnessed the power of women and their allies standing up for reproductive rights in the Texas State Capitol, and the powerful reminder that women’s struggle for equality also continues.

So, I’m grateful to the Rev. Gil Caldwell, for his well-timed blog of today, which speaks to all of this.

“It has become evident that even with legislation and rulings for inclusion, equality, and equal access… racism, as well as sexism, heterosexism, and classism, remain….
This last week in June 2013, whether we are concerned about affirmative action and/or voting rights, immigration, the rights of women, marriage equality, food stamps for the poor, etc., etc., could be/ought be the beginning of a “Movement” of persons and groups. Conservatives, moderates and liberals, who like Fannie Hamer say; “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired” (Of dreams deferred).”

Read the whole blog here.

LOVE is the thread that connects it all. God’s love for all God’s children. God’s call to us to make it mainfest in the world.

So, come join us Sunday, as we celebrate the movement of God’s Holy Spirit that’s loose in our society today, and as we dream of how it can spread more fully to all God’s children.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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