Jos76’s Blog

Thoughts and musings on life in a gay marriage.

Posts Tagged ‘UCC’

Here’s the church, here’s the steeple…

Posted by jos76 on January 26, 2008

So here’s a phrase that you don’t hear a gay guy say too often…I love my church.  Better yet, here’s a phrase that you don’t hear Christians saying too often…we love our gay members.  Ok, maybe we do hear some churches saying that they love their gay members and all gay people, but it is usually followed by something like..but we hate their sin and their lifestyle.  This is the reputation that most mainline Christians churches have because of the media and many of the current political candidates.

However, this not really the ideology and theology of many Christians churches.  Our church, an Open and Affirmation congregation of the United Church of Christ, is not at all what people might think. To get a better idea, watch this video of a UCC  commercial that aired a few years back to get a better idea:

Dac and I have really found a church home in the UCC.  In our particular congregation, there are about four or five gay and lesbian couples.  Other than that, most of the congregation is made up of many multi-generational familes, including one man who was the first child baptized in the church close to 80 years ago.  It is exciting to be part of a diverse group of people who respect us both individually and as a couple.  

You can search for a congregation in your area on the UCC web site (the link is to the right).  Be sure to look for an Open and Affirming (OnA) congregation as some UCC churches have not elected to follow this theology, though the vast majority has.

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Friends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dancing with Bigotry

Posted by jos76 on January 16, 2008

bigotry.jpg

As usual this morning I heard a few remarks on the radio about political candidates who do not support gay marriage.  It’s sad that this has just become part of my morning routine.  After I stop to get my coffee and contribute to the economy and before I get to my job (I’m a teacher), I get to hear my dose of “Marriage is between a man and a woman” and “Gays and lesbians are hurting traditional heterosexual marriage.” 

Then, yesterday, as per usual when I take the train into the city, there was group a teenage boys sitting behind me who must have called each other “gay,” “queer,” “faggot” at least 20 times during the 10 minute ride.  They were unaware of who was on train and did not care.  I’m sure that they would not have made obvious racial comments at the risk of other people on the train confronting them for their ignorance and bigotry. But, everyone heard their homophobic slurs and no one was concerned.

To those of us who live in this reality everyday, it is mind-boggling.  Don’t the political candidates understand how their views and stances influence the public around them.  “If it’s okay for Romney to say that he doesn’t agree with homosexuality, then it must be okay for me to make fun of them and maybe even be violent toward them.”

I’m not typically this politically charged, but I have been hearing parts of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ” I have a Dream” speach a lot lately (with MLK Day coming up in a few days) and his ideal of freedom is on my mind.  I’m sure anti-gay political candidates will take time out to honor Dr. MLK next week and take a stance for what he was working for, then, right after, they will dance around the issue of gay marriage and civil rights.

Ok, that’s my rant for the week.  I promise to be more clever and amusing in the future.  I think Huckabe and Romney are each taking a turn dancing with bigotry tonight on the news, so I have to get going.

Jos76

Posted in Friends, Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thoughts on an old Portuguese lady

Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008

anniversary.jpg

We all hear differing political views on gay marriage. Most (if not all) Democratic Candidates support some form of Civil Union, where Republicans are quite opposed to any recognition of a same-sex union.

It’s difficult sometimes to be driving to work and listening to the radio and hearing rich white men say that I am not equal to them and thus don’t deserve the same rights, “privileges,” and respect that they do. Unfortunately, they may be the ones to decide this issue for us. Though my partner and I are legally married in Massachusetts, we question if it will ever be recognized federally.

Just when I get a little down in the dumps about what might come about politically I usually get a reality check. Just yesterday, several anniversary cards arrived for me and my partner. As I mentioned in the previous post, we don’t tend to celebrate these milestones, but at times our friends and family do. One of the cards that arrived was from my partner’s 83 year-old traditional (Catholic even) Portuguese grandmother. The card read: “On Your Anniversary…You’ve believed in each other, trusted each other, treasured each other and it’s brought you to another beautiful year shared together in love.”

This from a women who was married for almost 60 years. Her blessing, recognition, acceptance, and respect are what essentially validate our marriage. Now, if we could just get her on the Democratic Ticket (Though like most traditional old Portuguese ladies she probably votes Republican…go figure!).

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Family, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2 down, 48 to go!

Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008

Wedding Cake

My partner and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary today. We live in Massachusetts so it’s the real legal kind of wedding anniversary. We have been together for seven years and we don’t usually make a big deal about celebrating the milestones (in fact neither of us said anything about it this morning when we left).

We are proud of our two (actually seven) years together, but last night we were invited to a 50th anniversary party for a couple that we know very well from our church. There were about 60 people there and as we looked around we saw a very eclectic group. We were the gay couple (younger than the couple’s own children). We were so proud to be invited and enjoyed being the presence of such an accomplishment.

When saying our good-byes, they said to us, “Congratulations on your anniversary tomorrow.” They added that it won’t always be easy, but it is so worth sticking it out. If a Protestant New England heterosexual couple married for 50 years can talk to us like we have the “same” marriage that they do, there is hope for the rest of the world (and maybe even the Republican Candidates).

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Friends, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Jos76’s life in 350 words or less!

Posted by jos76 on January 14, 2008

I spent some time in a Mennonite boarding school in Pennsylvania when I was in high school. Suffice it to say that as the resident gay kid I learned to have a thick skin. I never personally felt that my faith and my sexuality were in opposition to each other, but I constantly heard how evil the “homosexual lifestyle” was.

I graduated from high school in 1994 and went on to a large state university where I tried to fit in, but quickly realized that I was way more religious than I had thought. I spent my sophomore year in France where no one wanted to listen to any kind of religious banter. I quickly realized that churches in France were just pretty museums that tourists appreciated more than French citizens did.

Once I graduated from college, I went to live on Cape Cod where I also taught for four years. I had a really rewarding experience with a group of colleagues that taught me that I could be openly gay (and even date at times). I took them up on it and eventually met my partner, through and online dating site.

I don’t think my colleagues saw it coming, but I moved off of Cape Cod to be with my new boyfriend. During our first date we had a quick conversation about whether or not we wanted to be together exclusively and we both agreed. We have been together ever since. We were together for five years when we decided to get married two years ago.

We both have very interesting families and friends that always keep us guessing. In these postings, you will be introduced to many of them and will come to see the experiences that we have as a young (can we still say that at 29 and 31 years old?) gay couple. Stay tuned.

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »