Oberlin Blogs


November 13, 2009

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

Right before I left for summer vacation, my Facebook status read, 'Zoë goes to the coolest church ever.' In that case, I meant the church I attend while I'm at school, although the church at home is probably also the coolest church ever. (I need to say that, just in case someone from there stalks my blog, which is entirely possible.)

At any rate, I was planning to write about why my church in Oberlin is so cool, and then I never did. So I will now. Most obviously, there are the normal church things that are great: the people are really welcoming, learned my name really fast, and always ask how my schoolwork is going. One person at the start of this year, when he found out I was still a biochem major, which had been my plan since freshman year, told me that he'd been sure I would switch majors. (I realize this isn't a great story, but it's supposed to illustrate that the congregation is interested in my life.) Also, there's really good food. I don't know if this is a general church thing, or just a Methodist thing, but we know how to eat. I've had several good meals at church during my time in Oberlin.

Obviously, these things would not prompt a sudden change in my Facebook status. (They're nice, but they're not exactly Facebook-worthy.) What prompted the Facebook status was a sermon about how it's okay to be gay. That, in and of itself, I'd say is a pretty awesome thing. But it doesn't stop there. The sermon was given because the church was about to vote on whether to become a reconciling congregation.

What is a reconciling congregation, you might be asking, which is good, because that's what I was asking, too. A reconciling congregation is a congregation, part of the United Methodist Church, that makes the decision to stand for full inclusion of all people in the United Methodist Church. (A line I snagged directly from the website.) Basically, this is a church that wants to include people of all sexualities and gender identities. This is completely awesome and makes me really proud of my church.

Why am I writing about all this right now, you might also ask. Well, I was reminded of the church's decision by a recent speaker we had on campus: Gene Robinson. I'll leave you with some of his words:

"If you're doing the right thing, you're going to get into trouble."

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