The knot that has been in my stomach for weeks has finally disappeared and has been replaced by a whole-body glowing sense of relief. Not only did we win, but we won by a landslide – for every person who voted to keep the status quo, 4 people voted for change, and the atmosphere in the room when it was announced was alive and joyous.
I explained it to Ben and Molly thus:
We had a really important meeting at church yesterday, and I was really worried about it because we were having a vote about something that I think is really important. Our church had a rule that not everyone could get married at our church. That meant that for some people, even if they came to the church and said, “We really love this church, and we really want to have our wedding here!” we would say, “No,” and I didn’t think that was fair, because God loves everyone equally. I thought that anyone who loved God and loved the church and wanted to have their wedding there should be able to do that, and so did a lot of other people, so we had some meetings, and we arranged some times that when anyone could come and talk about how they felt about it, and when that was all finished, we had a vote.
Everyone wrote on a piece of paper if they thought we should keep the rule the same, or change it so that everyone could get married at the church if they wanted to. And I was really, really worried that more people would want to keep it the same, but it turned out that lots more people wanted to change the rule and so we did, and now EVERYONE who comes and says, “We really love this church and we would like to have our wedding here!” will get a, “YES!”
love the rainbow sheep! baaaaa….
Good for your church! How long was the campaign leading up to the vote? Were there people campaigning on the NO side?
I actually used the wrong word in the post – technically we were a “planning group” and not a committee – and it was made up of volunteers from the congregation. It happened that everyone who volunteered was on the “yes” side, and people on the “no” side were approached and asked to take part but declined, which was a little frustrating because we really did want some balance.
It wasn’t so much a campaign as…well…I don’t really know what to call it. The whole point was to encourage discussion and sharing of ideas rather than to inform or lecture. It was very important to us that we give people a safe space to share their hopes/fears/questions/etc. rather than try to convince them of what we thought was “right.” We had “listening circles” where people could come and take turns speaking without rebuttal, and movie nights where we showed a movie called “For The Bible Tells Me So” which follows several Christian families with gay children over a period of time with discussion afterwards, and then we had the big congregational lunch (for which I made the Vats O’ Chili) which had facilitated large and small group discussions. We also shared a list of resources (articles and videos) on the website, and admittedly those were heavily biased to the “Yes” side. From what I heard (I wasn’t able to go because of Chris’ wedding) the discussion was lively and very respectful at the lunch, thought not many people came out to the other events.
The result was a surprise. We honestly had NO idea which way it was going to go, and expected the result to be much closer, which would have been disastrous in a small congregation.
A win for reason and equal rights to happiness, pain and all!
I need to make that flag into a quilt now.
Oh my god that would be A-FREAKING-MAZING.
My church is next! Here’s hoping for the same result!
Feel free to share any of my posts if it will help!!