Sunday, February 20, 2011

Teaching welcome is a long-term process.

Sunday morning, fourth through sixth grade classroom.

Me:  So Jesus says, "Love your enemies, bless those that mistreat you" [CEV, paraphrased].  For our next activity, I want you to think about people that you don't get along with --

Renee (sixth grade):  Like some girls at soccer!

Me: -- sure, people that you have to get along with, but it's hard, right?

Renee:  Yeah, I don't like the one girl because --

Eleanor (sixth grade):  Bullies at school!

Erik (fifth grade):  At my school I don't like this gay kid.

Me:  ... A gang kid?

Erik:  NO!  He looks at other boys!

Me:  ...

Eleanor:  There's nothing wrong with that!

Renee:  Yeah!

Eleanor:  My godfather is gay!

Renee:  And my cousin is too!

Erik:  It's gross!

Eleanor:  IT'S NOT GROSS!

Me:  Okay, okay, whoa.  Erik, you do know that I'm gay.

Erika (his twin sister):  What?

Erik:  What?

Me:  And Pastor Mary is gay too.

Erika:  No you're not.

Erik:  No she's not.

Me:  Yes.  Pastor Mary is married to a woman.  And I am married to a woman.  We are both gay.

Erik:  No you're not.

Me:  Yes.  You know the blonde woman I sit with every Sunday?  We are married.

Erika:  No, she's your friend.

Me:  No, we are married. 

Erika:  No, she's your best friend.

Me:  No, we are married.  We love each other.

Erika:  Best friends do that.

Me:  We live together.

Erika:  Best friends do that.

Me:  [How explicit do you want me to get here, kid?]  No, we are married.  We had a ceremony and we promised to love each other forever.

Erika:  Yeah, like best friends do.

Renee:  Wait did you and Kristi have a wedding?

Eleanor:  Yeah, because you said we could be in it when you had it!

Me:  Hang on, guys.  No, we didn't have a big wedding yet.

Eleanor:  Because we're going to be in it when you do.

Erika:  I'm confused.

G-d bless us, every one... :)

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