Members of Woodland Park UMC (Seattle, Wash.) prepare free “wedding cake” in support of Referendum 74.
Who’s getting married? | By Carol Waymack
“Who’s getting married?”
That was the near unanimous question folks at the Greenwood Car Show in Seattle asked as several of our church’s senior members handed them a piece of “wedding cake.” “Everyone,” we replied, “Everyone who wants to. That’s why our church wants you to support Referendum 74.”
Like many who attended General Conference 2012, we came home feeling pretty battered, exhausted and angry. Perhaps we had hoped for too much. Perhaps we had done too little. Perhaps we had not been as loving as grace would have us be to those with whom we disagree. No. We did what was right, worked as hard as we could and loved as much as we could. And in Washington State, which comprises most of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, there was lots of support to help us heal. Our AC’s overwhelming vote to support Referendum 74, the statewide law guaranteeing marriage equality, was affirming and healing. The AC also passed overwhelmingly, a measure calling for churches and pastors to be “Biblically obedient” by offering full civil rights to GLBT persons and by offering “the ministries and sacraments of the church to all persons on an equal basis”.
So, how do we as a congregation live into this “Biblical Obedience”? How can we support Referendum 74?
We served wedding cake to over 900 people at the Greenwood Car Show to make a stance. This Car Show typically draws a crowd of about 200,000 car enthusiasts, extending for 1.5 miles along Greenwood Avenue, including right in front of our church. People come from all around and represent a very diverse cross-section of Western Washington. Decorated with two plastic brides and lots of frosting, these cakes were offered in very small pieces – for free – to those who agreed with us and to the few who argued with us. We used this brief moment with folks to make it clear that our church wants to celebrate all kinds of marriage and to welcome all kinds of people.
Additionally, we offered tables and chairs for folks to sit and rest for a while, perhaps eat and for kids to color. In this area, we played continuously the excellent Drew Emery film “Inlaws and Outlaws”, a film depicting all kinds of marriage. Another viewing of this film on August 14 attracted many people we had never met. Afterward, the producer led a “for” discussion of what marriage equality means to all of us.
We think this is Biblically obedient.
Carol Waymack is a member of Woodland Park UMC in Seattle, Wash.
How is your local church living into this kind of “Biblical obedience”?
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This article was originally featured in Channels 56, September 2012. Download this issue, here