Being Bold in the World
Written by Dana R.H., Program + Outreach Coordinator Have you seen the new season of Queer Eye on Netflix? I’ll admit that Queer Eye is one of my favorite shows and as Pride Month came to an end, I decided to re-watch the first episode that features fellow Lutheran, Pastor Noah Hepler. Noah is a pastor in the ELCA and this episode follows him over his week with the Fab 5 and his journey of boldly and vulnerably claiming his identity as a gay man and a leader in the church. I encourage you to watch the whole episode, but there’s a beautiful scene where fellow LGBTQ+ clergy, Rev. Megan Rohrer and Bishop Guy Erwin, meet with Noah to talk about the difficulties and beauties of being Queer in the church (You can watch a clip here). They reminded him that by simply being himself, an out gay pastor, was to live boldly. And that even when that is hard to do, there is a whole cloud of witnesses to uphold and guide him into that boldness. I’ve seen so many examples of this boldness lately; boldness that looks like people living proudly and unapologetically as who God made them to be; boldness that looks like people marching in the streets and having important conversations on race and privilege that they never have had before; boldness that looks like wearing a mask and cleaning up neighborhoods; boldness that looks like learning new things, starting new jobs, and being vulnerable in community. One story in particular that touched me this week was this City Pages article, highlighting a couple that got married at the burnt-down Third Precinct on the last weekend of Pride. One of the newlyweds described the moment like this: “The best way I can describe how I feel would be to say, I feel whole…it was such a wholesome feeling having everyone together to celebrate Black queer love and liberation. It felt like we were all healing together after such a traumatic month.” This story of love reminded me that in living boldly, in living as our authentic, God-created selves with unique passions and gifts, we may just discover wholeness and healing there, too. This week, I want you to think about where you have seen others living and speaking boldly. Whose boldness have you been touched or opened up by? Whose boldness have you been thankful for? Was there a boldness that challenged you? What cloud of witnesses has been beside you as you’ve lived boldly? Sit and rest in those things, friends. And I would love to hear from you, seriously, e-mail me your stories! And then gather tomorrow with me for Lectio Lunch Hour, where we’ll hear of a time when the early church, in all of their glorious and ordinary humanity spoke boldly and followed Jesus, even when that was the much more difficult road. And they too, found wholeness and healing in that work.