What a week we find ourselves in. From remembering those we have lost to AIDS and complications with AIDS on World AIDS Day to two mass shootings  in the US alone.

I think that Psalm 13 embodies all that I know to say right now, and that is: how long? How long, O Lord?

Will I forever read The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline that states that I am of Sacred Worth and sexuality is a gift from you and yet insists that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that LGBTQ people are not to be married or ordained?

How long will LGBTQ people have the right to marriage and yet not be able to walk down the streets of Dallas without fear of violence?

How long God, will we be reading the names of trans people, particularly trans women of color who have been murdered because of incessant transphobia and racism in our country and our world?

How long until a person’s right to live is considered far greater than their right to own a gun? How long will LGBTQ youth be kicked out of their homes in the name of Christianity?

How long will we be recovering from our country and its leaders’ refusal to address the HIV and AIDS outbreak when it originated, considering those most vulnerable as disposable?

How long, God, will the church and the world permit transphobia, racism, and heterosexism to prevail?

And yet, God, even in these moments of deepest sorrow and grief, I believe there is hope.

That hope does not come from prayers of waiting for you to appear, to fix this or make this go away. God, your presence is not an excuse for silence or lack of action. That hope that I find is from Stonewall. It’s from #BlackLivesMatter, it’s from denominations that acknowledge that LGBTQ people are created in your image and are to be welcomed into full participation in your church.

Today we pray for healing, we also pray that God you might fill us with your Spirit so that we leave this space emboldened and ready to do your work. May we continue to pray, but pray with our feet, with our voices, and with our votes. May this anointing be a reminder of who you call us to be, and that is a people of action. Blessed are the peacemakers, we read in the Beatitudes.

May we be bold enough, and faithful enough to be the peacemakers. Amen.

Anna Voinovich

Anna Voinovich is a first year M. Div. student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is happy to return to Illinois, her home state for seminary after spending the past few years at Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Education Studies. When she's not writing papers for school she enjoys reading,educating herself on social justice issues, and exploring the wide variety of churches in the area.

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