When I was a child, my favorite song was “Jesus Loves Me.” I refused to sing any other song before mealtimes. It got to the point where my family quit praying before meals because they couldn’t handle hearing the catchy tune on repeat.

How beautiful, that a child knows Jesus loves her… regardless. Jesus loves her in her innocence, Jesus loves her when she’s naughty, Jesus loves her in her innate being–the Soul God created for her to live within, and to live out.

In reflection of MCUSA’s response after their executive meeting this weekend, and moderator Elizabeth Soto Albrecht’s letter responding to the calls for LGBTQ inclusion in the church, I’ve written the prayer below:

Photo taken in Chimayo, New Mexico, by Rachel Halder

Photo taken in Chimayo, New Mexico by Rachel Halder

For years I kept it a secret.
My parent’s pain,
the distress on the faces,
the shame I felt inside.

Even though I was only a child,
I knew nothing good would come
of telling the world what happened to me.

For even more years I kept another secret.
My family’s potential embarrassment,
the unacknowledgement of my difference,
the possibility of disgrace and disappointment.

Even though I grew up in a progressive home,
I knew people would turn their backs
when and if I came out as queer.

To exclude one population of people
is to exclude another.
Those marginalized by
sexual orientation,

If the church’s doors are closed on one,
they’re closed on all.

With fervor I pray we learn to embrace God’s all-encompassing love.
May our awareness and identity not be completely tied with ego.
May we not succumb to this fear-based phenomena of judgement.
May we not be forced to keep secrets from our families and friends;
Secrets that pain our Mother, for all She wants is to Love us for who we are.

May we all see ourselves and others as the children of God.