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Cheryl's Room

I am a graduate of the Boston University School of Theology.   Although students of many denominations study there, it is a United Methodist Seminary.  I try to donate to BU every year, especially since my employer matches my gifts, and I have always designated my gifts for the School of Theology.

The United Methodist Church has taken a harsh stand against homosexuality and gay marriage, even going so far as to defrock an ordained minister for presiding at the wedding of his own gay son.  This is in strong contrast to the inclusive environment of the school when I was there.  As I wrote out my check this weekend, I was presented with two boxes to choose: The School of Theology, which the form stated I had given to in prior years, or “Other” with a line to write in my designation.

It took me awhile to choose which box to check.  Do I give to my school based on my experience there, or do I choose another because of its affiliation with the United Methodist Church? I thought about how many members and ministers of the church disagree with its anti-gay policies.  Should I not give to support the education of ministers who might work from within, as so many Methodist ministers are doing?  But I also thought of a United Methodist curriculum on doctrine, one that would teach the official positions of the church, that homosexuality was wrong and that you should not condone gay marriage, even if it was your own child who was the bride or groom.  And I decided that I could not contribute to that.  I could have just not contributed at all this year, or I could have just chosen another designation, but I wrote on the form that I could not contribute to a United Methodist seminary until it reversed its policies on homosexuality and gay marriage.

I designated my gift to go to the School of Engineering, even though my only affiliation to the school was that I loved studying in their library.

I have felt pangs of sadness since I made my decision.  I had turned my back on the school who had given me a full scholarship, the school where I met my husband, the school where I learned Greek, the school where I had made close friends.  The school hadn’t turned it’s back on me, but the church had.  And this was one small way where I could make a stand.  I tried to do the right thing, but yet it still feels wrong.

 

 

 

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Quote of the Moment:

“We don't need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They're always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.”
by Lloyd Alexander