This has been a powerful week in my personal life.
On October 6th, we observed the 30th anniversary of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.
I've replayed the events of the past 30 years over and over in my mind. What a jumble of emotions and thoughts and feelings! I've felt a deep sense of spiritual peace. I've felt a healthy sense of accomplishment. I've recalled the lives we've touched and helped. I've thought about the ministries we've reclaimed and -- literally! -- the lives we've helped to save.
More than anything today, I am feeling joy at God's blessing upon the Universal Fellowship. Yes, out of my own meditation this week, I'm feeling a keen sense of joy at what God has accomplished through us over these past 30 years:
-- By our faithfulness, we've caused the debate over gay spirituality to be raised in every denomination and sect of Christianity. We've helped put the debate on the table and taken a bold stand for social and spiritual justice for all God's people.In my private time this week, God has deeply impressed these powerful words -- this powerful promise -- from Isaiah 61:7:
"Instead of your shame, you shall have double honor,
This month we launch a 10-month 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Universal Fellowship "A Jubilee of Joy!" which will culminate with the UFMCC General Conference and World Jubilee in Los Angeles July 11-18, 1999. I want to invite you to join us for this joyful celebration, including the dedication of the UFMCC World Center in West Hollywood.
The first sermon I preached at the very first MCC service in 1968 was entitled, "Be True To You." And, you know, I believe we've lived that message. Together, we've stood true to our calling. We've not wavered in the face of threats of attacks. We've not watered down our message to gain approval or acceptance. We held fast to our prophetic voice.
There's one other thought -- one final thought -- I'd like to share with you today...
I am absolutely, totally convinced that UFMCC's best days of service, ministry and growth are yet ahead of us. Everything I have learned from 30 years of ministry in the GLBT communities causes me to feel this. We've really just begun. I know this by the growing number of letters I receive from hurting, lonely people. I know this from the numbers of people still finding rejection and pain in other churches. I know this by the tidal wave of response we're receiving through the Internet, from websites and by e-mail. I know this by the number of people who stop me on the street to talk with me in every city I visit. I know this by the number of countries that have no affirming GLBT spiritual presence. I know this by the unfinished work yet to be done on behalf of social and spiritual justice for all people.
Saints, our best days of service and ministry are yet ahead of us!
So I invite you this week to set aside some time to thank God for the blessings which have been poured out upon the Universal Fellowship... to offer praises for lives healed and saved and restored through our churches ñ and then to look boldly to the future, believing that UFMCC's best days are yet to come.
This, indeed, makes for A Jubilee of Joy!
Don't Be Afraid Anymore : The Story of Reverend Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churchesby Rev. Troy D. Perry
UFMCC Communications Department