by Justin Hull
In August of 2008 I reached a crossroads. I was getting ready to take the big plunge into being a certified candidate for becoming a pastor in The United Methodist Church. I had been working on the inquiry candidate process, and it was completed. I knew I had been called by God to serve in a very dramatic way.
However, there was one thing that I knew was still a “problem” of being gay even though I tried to bury it is as much as possible. I live in a very small town in West Virginia; so I started to look (as I have done before) to the Internet for answers.
I found answers through MOSAIC. I found a video of a man testifying on God’s call in his life while being openly gay. I found a blog of another guy who answered a lot of my questions. I found another video of the guy who I know and who was the worship leader of the West Virginia Annual Conference testifying at General Conference. The biggest difference of all from my previous times of looking for answers on the Internet was people. I know queer theology, but I did not know any LBGTQ Christians until then. Theology is important. I discussed and read theological resources, but people are the difference. I had an instant connection with these people because I have always been at home in The United Methodist Church.
As you can tell by my story the Internet was and is an important resource for me. It is a great way to reach out to places like a small town in West Virginia where a young man struggling with his sexuality can find hope. Today, I am an out and openly gay Christian who is ready and willing to testify to God’s love for everyone. I am glad to be working on the communication and theological resources team for MOSAIC. We are a group of LGBTQ young adults and allies working for equality in The United Methodist Church for all people.
I hope everyone reading this blog finds hope in midst of a denomination that says, “Open Hearts, Open Doors, Open Minds”, but does not really mean it. What scares me is the reality that I might have to find a different denomination to fulfill my call. Even if I have to switch to a different denomination, I always want to be working for equality in The United Methodist Church. However, I always have hope. I find courage in the witnesses of other churches that have been prophetic by standing up for marriage equality in the face of possible consequences. I find hope that The United Methodist Church will change. Our only Reconciling Congregation in West Virginia, Asbury, gives me hope. The people of MOSAIC and RMN give me hope.
MOSAIC, a young adult group affiliated with RMN working for the full inclusion LGBTQ people has started their own blog. This is a blog post from the point person for the blog. You can find the blog at mosaic.typepad.com
Justin Hull lives and grew up in Moundsville, WV and is the point person for the MOSAIC blog. He works in the West Virginia Annual Conference for equality and plans to attend Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. full time in the fall.