Thursday, May 03, 2007

Methodist Blogger Profile: Tiffany Steinwert


Tiffany Steinwert of Religion Is A Queer Thing

Why do you blog?
I blog partially as a way to reach out to those unable to come to Church (for one reason or another ) and partially as a spiritual discipline. I always hope that folks will leave comments as it provides a community in which to reflect about ourselves, God and the world in which we live.

What has been your best blogging experience?
The best experiences happen when I connect with people through the text. Sometimes this means re-connecting with old friends, other times discovering new ones.

What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Be disciplined.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
The Gideonse Bible
Pastor Mom
Idle Rambling Thoughts

Who are your spiritual heroes?
Oscar Carcache, a Nicaraguan pastor of a base community church in Nicaragua, Mary Daly, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Roy Bourgeois, of the School of the Americas Watch, Sue Laurie of Reconciling Ministries Network, Letty Russell, Julian of Norwich, Barry Petrucci, a UM pastor in West Michigan

What are you reading at the moment?
“Early Class Meetings” by David Lowes Watson and “Traveling Mercies” by Anne Lamott (my second time through!)

What is your favorite hymn and why?
“In the Midst of New Dimensions” by Julian Rush. This hymn has been the theme song (so to speak) of the Reconciling movement of the United Methodist Church. I cannot hear this song without imagining Jeanne Audrey Powers singing and waving her fist to the tune of the music! I love the hope the hymn depicts and the explicit references to those marginalized in both Church and society. It is a beautiful vision and hymn of family, memories, and the movement.

Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind?
Just one? Issues come and go. It is our responsibility to be well-informed and educated, keeping an open mind so that we can be moved by the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Over the course of my lifetime I have moved many times in how I understand the world around me. Each time, I believe I have changed my mind on an issue through a deeper understanding of God’s call to move toward greater love and justice in the world.

What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
I think it is important that we critically engage all philosophical discourses, not to reject them out of hand, but rather to wrestle with the complexities and nuances of each argument. Philosophy, like theology, is not a neat set of propositions that we can either accept or reject, but rather a framework through which we can begin to understand the world. It is the process of struggling through ideas that helps us discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
End the war! It is time to end the war in Iraq. When the war began our bishops and general Church condemned this action as unjust. It is time to end the violence, death and colonization.

If you could effect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
I would end the prohibitions on the full participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. Our Church is founded on the principles of inclusivity and welcome expressed in our denominational motto, “Open hearts, open minds, open doors.” It is time we live into that. We know that there are a multitude of faithful GLBT persons in our churches, serving in various capacities both lay and clergy. We need to acknowledge the gifts and graces of those GLBT persons among us and welcome them into the full rites of the Church…marriage and ordination included.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Breathe deeply and realize that God gives us endless possibilities for the good in our lives. No matter what choices we make, God is always luring us to new possibilities and a future, not for our harm, but for our well-being….for a future with hope.

What, if anything, do you worry about?
I worry mostly about getting everything finished on time.

If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
I don’t think so…the decisions I have made have led me to this place and I rather like it!

Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
Hmmm…..I love the Boston area, but I would return to Nicaragua where I served as a missionary in a heart beat! Thinking further abroad I would like to live in London, Caracas, Oaxaca, or Peru. Closer to home, I wouldn’t mind Chicago or even Seattle.

What do you like doing in your spare time? Spare time???
When I have time I like to walk the dogs; see/listen to good live, folk music; travel; and knit.

What is your most treasured possession?
My childhood stuffed bear named Teddy.

What talent would you most like to have?
Singing would be helpful as a pastor, but quite frankly I’d prefer to dance.

If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
Frida Kahlo
Alice Paul
Indigo Girls

3 comments:

Frist! said...

Frist!

the reverend mommy said...

Ok, She's pretty. Really pretty.

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