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I Love to Tell the Story: 100+ Stories of Justice, Inclusion, and Hope Paperback – June 14, 2016
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About the Author
Named one of the 50 “Powerful Religious Leaders” in the world by The Huffington Post, Dr. Rev. Nancy Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with White House staff in 1979. She served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson served as the second Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has ministries across the world.
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It is from the vantage point of those four decades, however, that I feel extremely competent to evaluate Wilson’s delightful “mini history” of this young denomination, founded in 1968 by Rev. Troy Perry as a Christian congregation with, as we used to say, a “primary outreach to the LGBT Community”. Of course, the acronym has now been expanded, the most recent version, I believe, being LGBTQIA+. On the spectrum represented by that acronym, my husband, who “came out” to me in 1974, identifies as “G/B”, and after years of self-analysis, I call myself “Q”. Together, as mentioned, we’ve been actively involved in an MCC congregation since 1978, and therefore are able to confirm and verify from personal experience a great many of the circumstances and events Wilson discusses.
As the author says in her introduction, this book is not presented as a personal memoir, although it is told from her perspective. Nor is it an organized chronological history. Although the faith perspective of Wilson herself as well as the basic Christian orientation of MCC is made an important part of the discussion, this is also not a theological treatise, and is a spiritual reflection only insofar as the stories and vignettes she provides will indeed offer much insight to those who are open to the movement of the Holy Spirit in these touching, poignant, amusing or instructive narratives.
However, for those of us who have “been there, done that”, living through these tumultuous times of “Gay Liberation” from the Stonewall era in the 1970’s, to the AIDS crisis in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the “Marriage Equality” fights of the new Millennium, this book is a vivid if sometimes painful, sometimes nostalgic, yet always valuable re-immersion. And of course for the Millennials, it should serve as an important foundation document upon which ongoing efforts for justice and equality can be based.