The World Needs Such Love As This
By Rev. Lucy Jones
I was showing Amy and Jenn around the Grail at Cornwall, the spiritual retreat center where I work and where they were making plans for housing their families for their September wedding at nearby Bear Mountain Inn. Their childhood churches were no longer spiritually welcoming to them and their committed loving relationship. Amy’s mother, Maureen—a long-time friend of mine—had mentioned to them that, as a United Methodist clergyperson, I might be willing to officiate at their wedding. I was pleased to be asked and honored to bring the representation of God’s radical grace into the ceremony that marks the beginning of a life together.
When I was their age I also had rejected the church of my childhood. After 20 years of unchurched adulthood I found a church (Park Slope United Methodist Church) that practiced what it preached, a place that welcomed “gay and straight, old and young, rich and poor, black and white” persons into community—and it changed my view of the church, and indeed, my life.
Such a church models a church with open doors—and those doors swing out as well as in. God’s love does not stop at the walls of the building. The door to God’s heart is everywhere.
If ever a couple were meant for each other, Jennifer Casey and Amy McHugh were. They began as friends six years earlier, but their friendship grew into deep and abiding love and commitment. Their relationship surprised their families, each of whom soon came to accept their daughter’s partner as their own daughter and sister. The wedding made it official, two families connected by the love of two young women committed to a life together.
Their delight and respect for each other was immediately apparent to me. That each was better for having the other in her life was obvious to me, to their friends and to their families. I believe that any committed love relationship brings more love into a world in desperate need of more, and makes the world a better place. It signifies the radical love of God for this broken, hurting, needful world.
So on September 14, 2013, we celebrated this miracle of love, with family members and friends as witnesses to the joy that spills over to everyone it touches. The brides were beautiful, their fathers and mothers were tearful, and their friends were exuberant.
The world needs such love as this, so does the church. Joy to the world!
Lucy Jones is an elder in the New York Annual Conference serving in extension ministry as a staff member at the Grail.
Photo credit: De Nueva Photography
Video credit: Mike Gallagher, www.myshotsatlife.com
We Did is a project of Methodists in New Directions (MIND) dedicated to making visible our ministries to LGBTQ people and encouraging others in the UMC to transcend the institutional requirement to discriminate and make their ministries visible, too. It is part of the Biblical Obedience movement sweeping across the United Methodist Church. You can read all the We Did stories here. We invite you to submit your own story to We Did.