From Chicago to California (and fading of divisive controversy)


Crowded Chicago

It was only yesterday afternoon  that Conrad, Jill and I took My Joy to Chicago.  At O’hare air port she boarded an American Airlines flight to Santa Cruz, California. She plans to spend a week with her daughter who lives there, and a granddaughter and great granddaughter who are visiting from Argentina.  She plans to return to Goshen next Saturday.


Chicago Highline

My Joy’s growing knowledge of gays and lesbians is similar to that of Roberta Kreider’s many years of little knowledge. Joy’s youngest sister told her of information gained from her daughter. The information included the fact that gays do not choose their sexual orientation.

When College Mennonite Church had a six week study of sexuality, some parents of gay children told their stories to My Joy”s  Sunday School Class.  Now she longs to talk in person to a gay or lesbian.

My Joy’s longing caused me to think of Roberta Showalter Kreider’s three books. I thought that I might have them on my shelf so I invited her and my daughter  help me  look through the books.  We found Roberta’s third book in the stack on my computer desk!  So, My Joy has Roberta’s book and has read several of the stories in it.  To learn more about the third book click here.


Sun sets over Chicago (divisive controversy)

John Lapp, a member of Samhedrin received the following note from a friend, Bob Kreider.  Lapp forwarded the note to me. Bob wrote to John: “I wonder if you have seen a statement from nine Hispanic pastors from the Western District Conference who take a traditional stance and speak with a gracious, reconciling spirit, affirming unity.  In the tense climate of conference discussion, I wonder if it could have a moderating influence.”

Here is the quote

“In the spirit of Christ we confess:  That our position about homosexuality has not changed. However,  knowing that God has called us to live in peace and unity, we declare with fear and respect that if people, pastoral leaders or individual congregations, perceive homosexuality differently and in consequence declare solidarity with or minister covenant ceremonies between same sex persons, we will respect what they decide and will not impose an obligation to change or criticize their decisions, let alone question their Christian values.  At the same time, we hope that our position will be respected and that we always will be considered as valid partners when it comes to talk about the mission of the church, the witness of Christ and the celebration of brotherhood. In the love of Christ this is our word and we offer it as a fraternal contribution.”

The Old Fool feels that the wisdom that produced the above statement could bring Myron Augsburger and Lin Garber, Gulf Coast, Western District and Lancaster Conferences together, and preserve the unity and enhance the mission of Mennonite Church USA & Canada.

Furthermore, The Old Fool is hearing whispers of reconciliations in which there is a not a change of mind but a dramatic change of attitude by individuals on  both sides of this critical issue. The times are so tense that most such reconciliations can  be done in closet-like events, only.

 May all reconciliations soon be made public
to the Praise of Godattitude



About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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4 Responses to From Chicago to California (and fading of divisive controversy)

  1. Conrad Lehman says:

    You know dad I don’t always agree with you on many things, but I can always said you speak with wisdom. To this I can without hesitation say Amen!

  2. Beth Shultz says:

    I love reading your collom

  3. IreneBechler says:

    I find the statement from the Hispanic pastors to be insightful, inspiring, and thought provoking. The Spirit is at work in the Church. “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

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