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by District Superintendent Rev. Dan Morley
Photo by Catherine Morris, Photo shortened
This summer I had the joy of officiating at my eldest niece’s wedding in Minneapolis. It was a joyous event and I was proud and privileged to be a part of Anna and Scott’s exchange of vows. Following the ceremony we enjoyed a beautiful reception with great food and a DJ who got everyone onto the dance floor. Young to old enjoyed moving to the music. I especially appreciated the way one of Scott’s aunts put her whole self into her dancing. She did not hold back. I smile now as I can still see her dancing — no matter the music, the beat, the rhythm — she had the same moves and the same jiggle.  Sometimes her partner joined in with her and other times she was just out there on her own. She inspires me in the way she gave it her all; enjoying it immensely.

I can easily feel clumsy on the dance floor — not being able to quite move to the rhythm, getting off the beat, and of course, stepping on my partner’s feet! There has been a lot of awkwardness on the dance floor these days as we navigate the changing political, cultural, and religious scenes. It is often as though we are dancing to different bands and not together.

At a dance, there are those who quickly jump in and get things going and then others who stand against the wall for the longest time, waiting to find the beat and rhythm before getting out there on the dance floor.

For many years our UMC has been discussing and making statements around human sexuality. I have been a part of those discussions — sometimes from the center and many more times watching and listening from the edges. There comes a time when one needs to get out onto the dance floor and risk looking foolish while trying to find one’s place in the music and at the same time knowing that feet will get stepped on. I will unintentionally step on and get stepped on. Then, the apology is made and the dance continues as fewer and fewer missteps are made and I find my own relationship to the dance – the beat – the rhythm while helping and respecting others to find theirs as well.

This can only happen with practice and intention and grace and being in the Spirit.

This fall and winter, Bishop Bob Hoshibata will travel our conference to meet with our church communities in what we have come to call a Holy Huddle. It will be our time to dance together over a subject matter which is filled with intensity and emotion — human sexuality, especially on the topic of homosexuality. Initially, you may want to avoid the dance, but I encourage you to attend a “Holy Huddle on the Unity of the Church,” nearest you and join in the conversation. All will be encouraged to find their own moves to the rhythm, but we will always be seeking to move with and in Christ’s grace.

In Christ’s Grace,

Dan

The Holy Huddles on the Unity of the Church in the North District:

Wednesday, October 16, 7:00p at Desert Spring UMC, 120 Pavilion Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, October 17, 6:30p at Green Valley UMC, 2200 Robindale Rd, Henderson, NV
Saturday, February 4, 9:30a at St. Michael’s UMC, 2895 Jamaica Blvd S, Lake Havasu City, AZ
Saturday, February 11, 9:30a at Trinity Heights UMC, 3600 N Fourth St, Flagstaff, AZ

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