Our friends at Breaking the Silence have just launched a new website, they are collecting personal stories related to full inclusion in the UMC. The site has a handful of video testimonials from clergy, lay people, and even some youth. The sites’s look and feel resemble the early “It Gets Better” project website. It is open to anyone who wishes to submit a story via YouTube and have it posted on the site. It looks like the videos are searchable by name, conference, city, church, etc. There is even a way to submit written stories. From the site,
There is nothing so destructive as the silence of good people. And, there is nothing so powerful as average people speaking out about how they have changed their minds about God’s beautiful and diverse humanity. This is your chance to break the silence. Tell us your story that will help someone else who is trying to find their voice. Is it a story of hope? Is it a story of finding a love and acceptance in a church? How has scripture, the church, God, helped you be more inclusive?
So please share your stories. Whether you’re a member of our connection, a clergyperson, aseeker, or someone who is looking for that message of hope, come forward with your message of affirmation. Share your faith journey with those that feel alone, let them know that they are never alone.
Like the It Gets Better project, the aim of the Breaking the Silence outreach is to bring real people into the discussion, to highlight and promote the contemporary understanding of human sexuality through personal stories… you know: experience and reason in relation to scripture and tradition. Also similar to It Gets Better, the BTS group wants to call out and help put an end to bullying of young people, but not just the physcial, schoolyard bullying, the powerful bullying done in God’s name.
Hopefully, people will feel empowered to share their own stories. The rest of America has been been transformed by the realization that some of the people all around them – family, friends, co-workers, neighbors – were gay, and they were able to continue to love them, attend church with them, work with them. The church could easily acknowledge this reality, and acknowledge the incredible misjudgment that they’ve made, and move on. Or the church can be the last institution in the country to admit that they reinforce a position of bigotry in their policies and practices, positions that they held onto for far too long in the struggle against slavery, racism, and gender inequality.
Go ahead, tell your story. We’re the ones to put the UMC back on track. Visit the BTS website here.