Talk about a disjointed day…. I got home today from work in the city and read on the GA website that the GA voted 380-325-3 in favor of deleting G-6.0106b from our Book of Order (psst…. for those of you who aren’t presbyterian, thats the part that means that if you are gay and not celibate you can’t possibly be called as a minister of Word and Sacrament).
Hours earlier, my fellow colleagues at Broad Street Ministry and I went to check out a facility in Philly that provides meals 5 days a week to the local, in this particular location’s case, male, homeless population. We want to send kids there, so we were familiarizing ourself with the program. The director was showing us around the place, giving us a tour of the building and the block, and had this to say about his neighborhood:
“That hotel down the street, I hear that on the weekends that it is some sort of transvestite party. The very idea of it makes my stomach churn.” He also mentioned that the shelter required youth to bring adult chaperones, because, in his words “some of the people who come here might be dangerous. Sometimes we have trannies.”
I wanted to ask him if he thought the trannies would eat our children, but I refrained. The experience does point to a larger issue, though…. Christ tells us not to judge lest we be judged, and while I am certain that this man’s words were a judgement call regarding a population he possibly fears or doesn’t understand, my own uncomfortableness with him pointed to my own inner judgement of his own thoughts. On top of that, despite his personal views, the program offered something that is pretty necessary. Sure there are flaws, but the fact remains that this place feeds an average of 300-400 men lunch every day, with relatively few strings attached. I am caught wondering how I ought to process my emotions about all of it. On top of that, I have to tell myself not to get my hopes up about this GA nonsense, because who knows what might happen in the Presbyteries.