When I wrote the story of the same sex marriage that I performed, I looked forward to the responses. Among the responses that I received, I have chosen this one as being representative of the many, many parents who have looked to the Church for ministry with and to their gay children. I am particularly pleased that my article has created this kind of sharing during Black History Month. – Rev. Gil Caldwell

 

Dear Rev. Gil,

That was a beautiful article about the same sex marriage ceremony you performed. And it was a beautiful ceremony. Thank you for standing in your truth and being a witness to the true spirit of Christianity. As the mother of a wonderful gay son, in whom I am well pleased and proud, I was especially moved by your actions.

With respect to knowing other parents of color — African Americans included, I regret to say I only know (a relative who has a gay son). He is a gifted musician and a delight to hear. It just makes me sad that his family and their religious beliefs do not support him to the extent that he can fully express himself and accept the love of another — a man. I suspect he thinks his homosexuality is a cross to bear and he is bearing it by denying his feelings and giving all to God through music. That belief would comport with the doctrine of his church.

On the other hand, I know many white parents with gay/lesbian children. I have a very good friend, Caucasian, who has a lesbian daughter. She also had a gay son-now dead from AIDS–who was one of the founders of the AIDS quilt…Having gay children helped forge our early bond of friendship. 

I am glad to hear you are on the board of PFLAG. I make yearly contributions to them and several other organizations that support gay and lesbian causes.

In conclusion, I thank you for bravely walking a rocky path to witness true Christianity….The couple you married are very fortunate to be living in a time when their relationship can be openly celebrated — and there are brave ministers like you in main line denominations, who are willing to perform their ceremonies.

I hope we can meet one day in person and share more thoughts on the subject.

Blessings and peace,

 

Luke 4; 18 in the King James Version reads this way; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath…sent me to heal the brokenhearted,…”

I have sought in my ministry to “afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted.” I take no joy in doing the former, but if in doing the latter, I at the same time have done the former, so be it. Our United Methodist language and legislation, re; same sex unions and marriages, has broken so many, many hearts. These words in a song that I first heard and learned in a Black Church, 70 years ago, have  defined and described my ministry;

 “If I can help somebody, as I pass along,

  If I can cheer somebody, with a word or a song,

  If I can show somebody, how they are traveling wrong,

  Then my living shall not be in vain.”

   Amen and Amen!

Rev. Gil Caldwell

The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell is a retired United Methodist Minister who lives in Asbury Park, N.J. He was active in the Massachusetts unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and participated in the civil-rights movement throughout the nation. In 2000, he, with others, organized the RMN Extension ministry United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church (UMOC), an organization committed to the full inclusion of LGBT people in every aspect of church and society. His recent book, Something Within: Works by Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell is available from Church Within A Church. Gil's advocacy efforts were also featured in the film "From Selma to Stonewall - Are We There Yet?" Learn more at truthinprogress.com

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