With Gratitude

With Gratitude

New Year, new me?

New Year, new lockdown?

New Year, same me, same lockdown, same, same, same…

I try not to ascribe too much meaning to the turning of the hands to midnight on the 31st December, but it’s hard not to. It’s hard to not want the start of a fresh page, a new chapter, perhaps even a new book entirely.

2020 was not the year that we had planned as OneBodyOneFaith, likely a sentiment that the majority of those reading this will relate to. Events, gatherings, festivals, real-life encounters that are unplanned and can only happen by the passing of people in chance encounters – none of this happened. But plenty still did, and there is much to be grateful for.

In a blog for the Worldly Wellbeing website, I penned a few thoughts on gratitude – how it is often quiet and gentle in nature, and therefore, perhaps, easily forgotten or ignored. Which all may seem a little trite and fanciful in many of our current circumstances.

Yet, for the ministry of OneBodyOneFaith, I am grateful. I am grateful for our members, our friends, our supporters and partners, our new connections globally, and the giants whom we continue to stand upon the shoulders of today.

I am grateful for our volunteers, our Trustees, our small staff team – and those others who have continued to support and enable, even in times of personal challenge.

I am grateful for the continued financial commitment of our members, and for an increase in membership too. I am grateful for new initiatives with old and new friends, such as Space to Be with Diverse Church, House of Rainbow, Open Table, Quest, and Two:23. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of activists, church leaders, congregants, once-a-year-holy-day-goers, politicians, friends, family, and all of you in making your voices heard in support and affirmation of LGBT+ people.

I am grateful for the impassioned responses we have had directly and seen by many others to the release of the Living in Love and Faith material, and of the ongoing injustices of inequality specifically in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. If you consider yourself a member or affiliate of OneBodyOneFaith and have thoughts and feedback on Living in Love and Faith and how we might engage over the coming months, please do complete this survey before the end of January.

In short, whilst my heart may feel heavy as this new year is dawning, I am also creating space for gratitude – an action I hope I continue well into 2021 and beyond.

Whilst it’s fair to say that much of 2021 still remains unknown, one thing remains clear: our mandate to enable LGBT+ Christians and advocate for change within our communities remains as needed as it has ever been before, and I am certain that OneBodyOneFaith will continue to play a decisive role in that work – with all of your support. And for that, I am truly grateful.