|Called to Social Justice Ministry||
|November 6, 1997
I have accepted a parttime job as coordinator/consultant
of a national faithbased progressive organization, Equal
Partners in Faith. It is headed by an advisory panel, consisting
of Rev. Meg Riley, Rev. Ken Brooker Langston, Mandy Carter, and others.
We feel that the Promise Keepers leaders pit people and communities of faith against one another by marching alongside the leaders of the political religious right. We challenge their manipulation of religion for a hidden political agenda and at the same time affirm the positive role of religion in our public lives.
I started yesterday.
Called to Social Justice Ministry
I was born again 5 years ago. It was not in the "born again Christian" sense of the word, but born again none the less. It was October 16, 1992, when I finally admitted I was powerless, powerless over alcohol, powerless over outside influences, and powerless to 'control' my life.
At the time, I didn't know what God had in store for me, or even attribute the fact that I was still alive to His/Her unending Grace. I had done nothing to encourage life, only discourage it. I didn't know if God even existed, but I knew I wanted peace and serenity. AA taught me the serenity prayer - "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference".
Bible verses I learned as a child came back to me with the meaning they never had before, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path". "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you".
I surrendered my will and my life to God. I have been walking with God ever since. I have been made whole. I have been filled with peace. Do I still doubt sometimes? Very rarely. I know God is always with me, He/She is in me.
I am whole. God has put some wonderful people in my path, some from email, that have helped me in my journey. I no longer believe in coincidences, and am in awe at the hand of God in ALL things! I no longer believe that one must 'pray' consciously to be healed or heard. While I was in my addiction, I knew I had created a living hell. And God pulled me out and lifted me up. I didn't consciously ask Him/Her to, He/She had a purpose for my life.
I started to look for heros, people I could emulate. The first one being Jesus; following His example of compassion, civility, and community, His Love for mankind, His inclusion of all people, His compassion for the outcasts, His desire to share how to walk with God, and his disdain for hypocrisy and man made religious rules which hinder spiritual growth.
The second being Martin Luther King; His Love for mankind, his desire to make the world a better place, and his forthright speaking against hypocrisy, his love of God.
Which leads me to my gay rights activism. It no longer has to do with the fact that my brother is gay, but rather a deep religious conviction that God creates us all different, black, white, gay, straight, organized, unorganized (of which I have come to accept in myself). God has called me to social justice ministry. I minister to people on a daily basis, some recovering from alcoholism, some recovering from fundamentalism, some just realizing they are gay or lesbian, and/or a combination of all three. And I have been called to seminary.
And I know that God is always with me, guiding me, directing me, and nudging me. I do not know where He/She is leading me, but I trust with all of my heart that He/She is directing my path. And God is always calling me to move outside my comfort zone. This is the reason I am part of the Bridges-Across Project. I am stretching. I am growing. I am learning.
It is through His/Her Grace that I am still alive, and it is through His/Her Grace, that I have found peace of mind, compassion, wisdom, and the will to surrender.
Lancaster Sunday News story about Laura (with photo)
text © 1997 Laura Montgomery Rutt
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