So Great a Cloud of Witnesses
Shower of Stoles Project
For everything there is a season
I write to you from Minnesota, where the leaves have turned their brilliant colors and let go to become part of the cycle of birth and death and re-birth. For the Shower of Stoles Project, it is also a time of letting go so that the witness might be made new.
For the past decade, I have had the great privilege of holding the sacred in my hands and in my heart - the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith inscribed on the Shower of Stoles collection. From the original eighty stoles that were hung in the church where I lost my ordination ten years ago, the collection has now grown to include about eleven hundred stoles and other treasured items - neckties, foot washing towels, scarves, monk's rope and chain - from LGBT people of faith in twenty-five denominations on three continents. Over the years, I have driven more than a quarter million miles to share these stories at hundreds of churches, colleges, seminaries and denominational gatherings across the United States and Canada.
As many of you know, it has become almost impossible for this tiny non-profit project to run up to two hundred displays each year and keep up th the enormous amount of work that must be done to grow and maintain the stoles collection. This year our board has actively sought ways to collaborate with other groups that might be able to share this work. And late this year I decided it was time to step away from this work and concentrate on something I have wanted to do for ten years: carve out significant nine to capture all these stories I have in my head but have never had the time to write down, and t them together in a way that can be shared universally, I am pleased to tell you that the way has been made clear for all of these things to happen!
Let me share with you three important changes that will happen during the next couple of months:
Please give generously today! Our witness to the church continues; we already have dozens of displays scheduled for 2006. Along with this work, we must raise an additional $50,000 to make our dream of documenting all the stoles a reality.
I am grateful for your support over the years, my dear friends, and I leave confident that your support for this work will continue. May we rededicate ourselves to work for justice without ceasing, until that day when all of God's people are welcomed, embraced, affirmed and celebrated in our churches!
Peace with justice,