The Storm Ahead

What makes you uncomfortable?

Some might answer work parties, awkward eye contact, or skinny jeans. These situations very may well induce slight discomfort, but I want to know what really makes you uncomfortable?

What makes your soul stir? What makes your stomach twist into knots? What keeps you up in the night? Let me share what makes me twist and turn.

This weekend my mission center (Mid-South) joined in conversation and Biblical study with one of our apostles, Linda Booth. The IHQ developed a presentation in hope to prepare our entire community for the 2013 USA National Conference. I entirely enjoyed and learned so much, and it only confirmed something that I feel particularly passionate about. Let me also say, that I am hesitant and slightly uncomfortable writing this post because I am aware how many emotions, opinions and beliefs stem from this conversation. So, as I nervously type and post my heart to this topic I ask that you read with an open heart and open palms.

Our church has a beautiful history of evolution. I am proud because of it. I am here because of it. With out the hardships and changes it has gone through I, as a woman, would not be accepted to share this post with you. I would not be able to lead a youth ministry or be an ordained priest. Because the bravery, passion and awareness of God’s Spirit, our church has navigated and conquered some treacherous waters. Because of the love we have for each other and God we have been able to go further and dive into those waters and swim peacefully through it all. Our Community of Christ has been deeply enriched and blessed by the gifts via the acceptance of women in the priesthood. Because we opened up ourselves to being uncomfortable and challenged who we allowed to serve in ministry we have only expanded the love and fruits of this labor. So, now we have another opportunity to do the same. My deepest hope and desire is that we can be okay with being uncomfortable while we strive to offer and expand our servant ministry with all. Can we weather through this storm?

If you are unaware, our church will be discussing and voting on accepting people who love people of the same sex into the priesthood. While there are many like myself who will be standing up to vote with a big whopping “Yes, serve alongside us!”, there are those who respectfully are still processing, praying and wading through the currents, unsure and very uncomfortable. Because I am a part of this family, I have decided to wade alongside those who may differ in opinion and belief with this issue. I choose to lock hands and pray with them instead of harassing them. I know the storm ahead will be scary, the waves tall and the sky heavy. However, I also know that the sea we are navigating is deep and wide with God’s love. As we embark though this next length of sea together as a church family, may we all allow the waves of change, compassion, perseverance, and hope crash down on us and soak into every pore of our beings.

   “There’s a lesson in the rain that change will always come

     let us ride this wave and then greet the sun

     and though the ground may shake and we’ll think

     we’ve had enough

     we must raise our flags for the ones we love.”

Lyrics by Peter Bradley Adam’s “Keep Us”

As a side note, if you get a chance to attend a meeting and have the opportunity to study the materials the IHQ has developed I urge you to dive in. I found it very readable, challenging and soul stirring. 

Other suggested reading: I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay

With a hopeful heart,

Sydney Hutson 

7 thoughts on “The Storm Ahead

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart with such conviction and boldness. I know that people are drawn to Jesus in you. Love, love, love your desire to love people.

  2. Love this post & especially your emphasis on praying and walking with those who you might disagree with, whichever side you’re on. I think there’s a general feeling amongst most youth/young adults that we’re “there” – we’re accepting & it’s the older people who hold us back or are unwilling to change. However, we forget that even refusing to respect someone else’s views and experiences (no matter what age) is hindering us from accepting and loving that person too.

    It’s just not about “sides” in a community such as ours. We’re all individuals who believe and experience differently, but, by definition, we are community. We are an open, loving, diverse, and beautiful group, and that’s being driven by people like you with vulnerable testimonies like this.

    Also, I really liked the post you linked to. I think you’ll like this too:

    • Sydney says:

      Emma, thank-you for your kind response. I have to admit though, that writing these convictions is so much easier than living them out. There have been times when I get tired and frustrated at being patient with those who differ with me but it is a continual cultivation of the heart. I agree with you when you say when we refuse to respect others we deny acceptance. What a blessing it is though, to have a diverse community to sail with during the roughest of seas!

      Thank-you for the link- I will have to do some Saturday reading!

  3. vicki mason says:

    Sydney–thank you for sharing your gift of writing! But more importantly for sharing God with us. What a courageous beautiful offering you have given. May God bless this post.

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