rivka: (Default)
Tonight we had our church's new Director of Religious Education - the poly one! - over for dinner, with her two partners. It was great.

I felt a little awkward at first. I knew that I liked the way Becky (the DRE) presents herself at work and does her job, but I didn't know how much we'd have in common outside of church. And I'd been introduced to Lyn and Uri twice, but certainly didn't feel like I knew them at all. The first few minutes of the evening were kind of... polite. But then Lyn said, "I see you have a lot of Larry Niven on your shelves. Isn't he Guest of Honor at Balticon this year?", and that led to a more general discussion of SF cons, and then when I said "Disclave" Becky said "sprinkler heads," and after that we were off to a good start.

I asked them how their polyamory was being received at church (resounding silence, mostly), and we had an interesting discussion about being out while still having clear boundaries about the extent to which one's personal life is open for discussion - especially important at churches for Lyn and Becky, given that it's their workplace as well as their religious community. I told them our story about coming out to our minister. It was a good conversation - I'm sorry I started it while Michael was giving Alex her bath, because it would've been nice if he could've taken part too. At least he was there later on in the evening for the extensive churchrunning geeking.

Towards the end of the evening there had been enough "oh yeah!" moments that we tried, and failed, to find a point of cultural disconnection. But nope - from Veronica Mars ("Of course we watch it, Joss told us to!") to Unitarian-Universalists for Polyamory Awareness ("Maybe not the spokespeople you want to have."), they are essentially us. Only with different experiences that make them really interesting to talk to! What a great combination.

I don't think Alex was too annoying. (Always a question when we hang out with people who don't have young kids.) She was reasonably quiet during dinner. Once she got down from her highchair, she spent a lot of time trotting back and forth bringing our guests toys and books, but she didn't insist that they pay attention to her once they'd accepted her offering. She was certainly at her best in the radiant smiles department. And hey, she went to bed at 7:30. We had two more hours for adult conversation after that.

As for the food: How would you feed six people, if one of them is a vegetarian, one of them keeps a species of Kosher (not entirely, obviously, or they wouldn't have been eating from our kitchen at all), one can't tolerate spicy food, one dislikes many vegetables and isn't fully satisfied by meatless meals, and one is a toddler?

I wound up making:

Mexican corn chowder - a mildly seasoned milk-based soup with potatoes, tomatoes, red bell peppers, corn, and cheese.
Jicama-orange-radish salad with a mixed citrus dressing.
Cilantro chicken sausages, sliced up and fried golden-brown.
Cornbread muffins.
Denver chocolate pudding (not pudding at all, but a sort of a hybrid of chocolate cake and chocolate sauce), served warm over vanilla ice cream.

Everything went over extremely well. I hadn't made the salad before, and I loved it so much that I'm going to have to seek out excuses to make it again. All of our guests had a second plate of soup. And the dessert turned out perfectly - the last couple of times I've made it, it was a bit underdone, but this time I forgot it was in the oven until five minutes after I should've pulled it out, and it was just right. (I should make a note of that.)

So, yay. I hope this turns into an ongoing friendship. All five of us are really busy, which might make it tricky... but wow, I like them.
rivka: (chalice)
Our church just hired a new Director of Religious Education. Here's an excerpt from her introductory column in the monthly newsletter, with emphasis added by me:
[...] And change is what we have before us. For me: a new apartment, a new job, a new routine, and a new ocean to visit when time allows. For all of us: new adventures, new forms to fill out, new committee responsibilities, new ideas to imagine, and new friends to enrich our lives. It might be too much if it weren't for all the familiar comforts that help us meet new challenges. For me, that's my family: my two partners, Lyn and Uri, and our cats, Lucy and Splat. And, of course, Unitarian Universalism, a faith that welcomes us all into a thoughtful reverence for this sacred world while nurturing within us the fierce desire for building justice.

I will be working with the Children's Religious Education Committee, building on the work of previous years, to continue to create a safe, welcoming religious home for children and youth. [...]
I've already met her, and I thought she was really cool. And I've heard fabulous things about her from the RE Committee. But this? I did not expect. Whoa.
rivka: (Default)
Home sick (my doctor thinks it's a sinus infection; I just think I want to rip my throat out and then go to sleep for a week), and reading Ayelet Waldman's Nursery Crimes. I'd read another one of her "Mommy-Track Mysteries" and thought it was fun, light entertainment, so the last time I was at the library I picked up this one, the first in the series.

I did not expect alt.poly to be completely slandered on pages 124-128. spoilers! )
rivka: (robe)
I never imagined that polyamory would include waiting breathlessly at my computer for 10pm, when the CBC will start reporting election returns.
rivka: (Default)
Last night I met [livejournal.com profile] therealjae's parents. They're in DC with [livejournal.com profile] therealjae for a political science conference, and her father invited [livejournal.com profile] minnaleigh and me to join them for dinner at the Mendocino Grill and Wine Bar in Georgetown.

Wow was it good. It was marvelous to see J, of course, for the first time since February. And her parents? Let's just say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. It felt more like meeting friends of hers who just happen to be a generation older. I was a bit unnerved to hear that they'd heard a lot about me, especially given that they didn't specify what. Still, they made me feel very welcome. I had a great time.

Dinner was marvelous. I had a perfect oyster stew as an appetizer, followed by some seared red snapper with mint couscous, yellow wax beans, and heirloom tomato coulis. For dessert, molten chocolate cake with buttermilk vanilla ice cream. I felt compelled to get white wine with my dinner because of what I ordered, and had a nice pinot gris, but I was much more taken with the bottle of zinfandel J's father ordered with dessert. (Unfortunately, I was driving, so I only had about a third of a glass of the zin.)

[livejournal.com profile] therealjae took pictures of my food, but I imagine we'll have to wait for her to get back to Edmonton before she posts them.

Tonight saw a somewhat less successful, more private, equally momentous, and certainly cheaper dinner:

cereal

Alex's first taste of rice cereal. I intended to wait longer to start solids, but she's started intently watching every bite that someone else takes, to the point where I feel guilty about eating in front of her. Today we went out for dim sum after church. Alex slept through the meal, but woke while we were eating the sweet tapioca soup that comes as a dessert with every order. Her gaze was glued to my spoon as it went from bowl to mouth, bowl to mouth.

So when late afternoon came around, her hungriest time of day, I mixed up a little organic brown rice cereal with some formula. We tried a little by spoon and a little by fingertip. Altogether, I think she took in about half a teaspoon. She enjoyed the feeding process, but was less than thrilled by the cereal itself. This is obviously going to take some getting used to.

nasty_cereal
rivka: (Default)
elsiekate10: btw, my mom was unable to breast feed any of us for any length of time

RivkaWald: and look how you turned out.

elsiekate10: yeah well the others aren't queer
elsiekate10: well twink is
elsiekate10: okay, bad example
elsiekate10: but the point is i made it to adulthood, can hold down a job, and i love my mother

RivkaWald: Hey, why would we mind our kid being queer? I'm more worried that she'll grow up to be a shapenote singer.

elsiekate10: *grin*
elsiekate10: so you want me to stay far away
elsiekate10: well i understand

RivkaWald: No, I want you around so I can constantly point out to Alex that there but for the grace of God goes she.

elsiekate10: *giggle*
elsiekate10: shoot what's the line
elsiekate10: if i'm not a good role model i can be a ... some sort of horrible example or something
elsiekate10: it's someone's sig quote which narrows it right down

RivkaWald: Anyway, you'll have to be around a lot for that to work.

elsiekate10: well i could try
elsiekate10: assuming, for the purposes of argument, that you hadn't run me off with a rolling pin long beforehand

RivkaWald: I wouldn't use a rolling pin. Too cliched.

elsiekate10: fry pan? waffle iron? pitchfork?

RivkaWald: Stuffed penguin?

elsiekate10: that won't get rid of me
elsiekate10: i can withstand many an onslaught from a stuffed penguin and come back for more
elsiekate10: especially if i sense that i may get another shapenote singer out of it!

RivkaWald: hee!
RivkaWald: we make our own poly drama, instead of using the popular kinds.
rivka: (Default)
One thing I have to say in favor of apc12, compared to the other alt.polycons I've been to: it was much, much easier to get there. Compared to the cross-country flight required for apc7, or the long hot road trip to apc10, the five-minute drive to apc12 was a delight. I don't know why more con chairs don't take these location issues into consideration. *grin* Read more... )
rivka: (Default)
I'm still tired, and my cold is worse, so I'm not sure how brilliant and complete this is going to be. But I wanted to get some thoughts about apc12 down before the memories fade.

I enjoyed myself immensely, and I'm so delighted that other people had a good time. (Although, actually, on that front, I seem to be alternating between "proud" and "convinced that I personally did nothing and it was purely the unparalleled excellence of my concom that made it all come off so well.")

It was so good to see everyone. If I told you more than four times how happy I was that you were there, I apologize for the repetition - but the most frequently-occurring thought I had really was "Yay! ______ is here!" I hadn't seen most alt.polyites since Toronto, which was, um, August of 2003? And there were new people there I had never met, such as [livejournal.com profile] eeyorerin (with whom I got to have some great long conversations, yay!), and people I had only ever met for 30 seconds, such as the lovely, fascinating, and possessing-the-best-laugh-ever [livejournal.com profile] lcohen. So many great people! And not enough time, of course. There never is.

The most surprising thing about the weekend, for me, was how cherished I felt. A number of people brought me completely unexpected gifts - for example, [livejournal.com profile] dragon3 gave me a gorgeous ceramic gecko, because he knew I'd wanted to have a gecko at the con. [livejournal.com profile] kalmn organized a Secret Plot that culminated in the presentation of a beautiful silver-and-copper otter pin. There were gifts for the Li'l Critter and gifts for Michael and I as incipient parents. And then there were all the people encouraging me to sit down, bringing me drinks and treats of food, coming up at exactly the right moment to hold my hand or give me a hug... all weekend, I felt surrounded by loving care. It was beautiful.

There were some frustrating missteps with the hotel - the consuite wasn't available on Friday when we were told it would be (although we eventually got moved into another room ten stories higher up, which had a much better view, so that was just fine), the promised flip chart and markers never arrived despite repeated queries, there were ventilation problems in the programming rooms all weekend, an unexpected $100 charge was added to the brunch bill (which I managed to get removed again, fortunately), and the food for the brunch wasn't labeled with its ingredients, even though the contract spelled that out as a requirement and we confirmed it in person three different times. But in general, the hotel staff were helpful and friendly, the rooms were lovely, and the consuite was perfect for our needs. I'm still glad we chose the Tremont Plaza - I suspect that the problems we had would've been just as likely to occur at any other hotel, whereas the flexibility and courtesy might not have been.

Okay, I need to go to work - more later. I'll close with an explanation of my con badge.

Badge decoding: Read more... )
rivka: (her majesty)
I have something to say.

Five years ago, I developed a blister on my labia after having condom-protected sex with a new partner. Testing identified it as herpes simplex 1, a form which usually, but not always, presents orally. How I got infected remains a mystery to this day.

I am not dirty. I am not disgusting. I am not a pariah. It does not go without saying that I should absent myself from poly settings for life. Sleeping with me is not a sign that you lack intelligence or self-respect, it is a sign that you are really fucking lucky.

And unless you have never had genital contact with another human being, you'd be a fool to think that it couldn't have happened to you.

That is all.
rivka: (her majesty)
We've settled on a hotel for apc12. [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel and I met with our salesperson today to work out all the details over lunch. She's going to draft a contract and get her supervisor's approval on Monday, and then send it to us. ([livejournal.com profile] tammylc, I will absolutely take you up on your offer to look the contract over before we sign it.)

I couldn't be more pleased with the offer she's made us. It's a lovely hotel, the staff is very accommodating, and it's exactly the right size for a small (70-90 person) convention like ours.

here's the e-mail I just sent to the apc12 planning mailing list )
rivka: (Default)
Saturday morning I woke up before the alarm - which was a good thing because I hadn't set it correctly, and it didn't actually go off until sometime around midnight. [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel was supposed to be on the Living Shy panel at 10, so he wandered off in search of coffee while I went down to the mezzanine level to wait for delivery of the large-screen TV. When the truck showed up at the hotel entrance I left things in the hands of fmmo and went up to the consuite myself. While I was there, the phone rang. "Has anyone seen [fmmo]?" "She's downstairs taking delivery of the TV," I called back. "Um, this is the TV person on the phone." We got his directions sorted out, and I got a cup of strong tea and half a muffin. Then it was panel time.
Read more... )
rivka: (Default)
The first panel Friday night was "Coming Out, Staying In." A lot of people showed up (which, unfortunately, did not include one of the panelists). I knew that the panel would interest me and irritate me, and it did. The irritation is pretty much all self-directed. I'm not as out as I'd like to be. I can't really justify not being out to my family, but I don't want to come out to them, either. Being at the panel put pressure on me to examine my reasons and assumptions. One useful bit to hold on to: coming out doesn't necessarily mean sitting them down and giving a dramatic speech. I think that's how it's always looked in my head.

Next was the first non-panel programming item, "Beyond ASCII Art" - otherwise known as the 3D relationship model-building exercise. It was my idea and I was really excited about it, so I was a bit disappointed that only eight or nine people showed up. Tal showed up for a while, but seemed uncomfortable and barely spoke to anyone. (It was the closest contact I had with him all weekend. I feel a bit embarrassed that, as a member of the concom, I didn't do more to make him feel welcome... but he freaks me out.) The rest of us had a great time building models and telling each other about them. [livejournal.com profile] lilairen posted a picture of hers here. The models spent the rest of the con on the windowsill of one of the programming rooms, and a lot of people had positive things to say about them. So I guess it was a good program item even though not many people actually attended.

I wandered up to the consuite, which was huuuuge and had an enormous window overlooking the scenic suburban region. I had some of [livejournal.com profile] lilairen's cider mead, which was lovely enough to overcome my natural dislike of sweet drinks, and wound up in the bedroom, where some nice mellow cuddling and talking was going on. It was all very low-key and friendly and peaceful.
mild BDSMish content below )

Update.

Oct. 11th, 2002 10:23 pm
rivka: (her majesty)
I'm not going to self-label my posts as "testy" or "bitchy" anymore.

Obviously I am only an egg.

Updated to add: Also, apparently, I have much to learn about how to respond to criticism.
rivka: (Default)
How crazy would it be to put in a bid to host a future alt.polycon in Baltimore?

Advantages:
(a) cheaper travel destination than Boston or San Francisco, respective sites of alt.polycons 9 and 11.
(b) attractive Inner Harbor area with lots of hotels and a wide range of restaurants.
(c) easy sightseeing distance from Washington DC and a bewildering array of American historical sites (e.g., Mount Vernon, various Civil War battlefields, Fort McHenry).
(d) optional harbor cruise.
(e) cream of crab soup for [livejournal.com profile] therealjae.
(f) good public transportation (water taxi to most major tourist sites = $5 for all day).
(g) your Con Chair, [livejournal.com profile] rivka.

Disadvantages:
(a) heroin and syphillis capital of the United States.
(b) not everyone likes crab cakes.
(c) it's not like the Orioles are exactly a draw.
(d) visitors from more civilized countries might be squicked by Baltimore's murder rate.
(e) your Con Chair, [livejournal.com profile] rivka.
rivka: (her majesty)
(I know my quoted material in this post is incredibly mean, and I usually try not to stoop to this level. But you wouldn't believe the drivel he posted about HIV, and I had a hard week in the clinic, and I was just not amused.)

From: asfl@freemail.com.au (Thom)
Newsgroups: alt.polyamory
Subject: Re: Joining forces
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 23:44:46 GMT
Organization: Melbourne PC User Group
Lines: 65
Message-ID: <3d793ab3.2538950@news.melbpc.org.au>
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Xref: uni-berlin.de alt.polyamory:338465"Thom" <asfl@freemail.com.au> wrote in message news:3d793ab3.2538950@news.melbpc.org.au...

On Thu, 5 Sep 2002 22:32:07 -0400, "Rivka W" <rivka5@comcast.net>
wrote:

>"Thom" <asfl@freemail.com.au> wrote in message
> news:3d77f434.5383115@news.melbpc.org.au...
> >
> > Think to yourself, how many straight people do I know that
> > are HIV positive???
>
> I know hundreds of straight people who are HIV positive. I know at
> least a hundred people for whom heterosexual sex was their primary HIV
> transmission risk factor. I do HIV research and provide mental health
> treatment for HIV positive people for a living.
>
> Just about every word in your post was a lie, including "a" and
> "the."[1] So much so that I can't be arsed going through it line by
> line and explaining how the evidence contradicts you at every turn. I
> know from experience that it doesn't dissuade people like you from
> your dogged determination to believe whatever makes your dick happy.
>
> Rivka

What fundamentalist protestant church are you posting this for??? If
you knew anything but the propaghanda you spout you would see why
there is so little respect for the current right wing position. If
your such a great expert tell us the conclusions about the latest
Australian research in Africa including the circumcision stuff. And
do you also believe you can get the clap from toilet seats??? Tell us
all you know about Hepititus too. Tell us if you think its less or
worse a problem than HIV.

HIV is far from new. Medical records such as they are, from the first
days of Australia give detailed information on who died from what in
the colony and guess what? Over half the records show the same
symptoms as HIV!!

Did you also know that 95% of the so called AIDS victims are NEVER
tested??? As a great expert you know that AIDs or HIV doesn't kill
you, it just lets other things do it. In Africa they are so poor they
can't afford testing everyone and just look at sets of conditions that
usually are attributed to a depressed immune system and guess what,
these same deseases have been killing Africans since way before anyone
knew anything about HIV, hundreds of years. Oh and that 5% they do
test??? Half come out negitive.

Is there an epedemic in Africa? No, Is AIDS serious? Yes, is heptitus
more damgerous and transmittable than HIV? YES Are swingers and
POLY's in a high risk catagory NO! You can tell me over and over of
all the people you hang around with that are positive but every bit of
research on the lifestyle shows that "Alerternate Lifestyle" people
have the lowest SDT rate of any sexually active group in America.

If you thinkwe are all a bunch of deaseased freaks why do you hang out
on this news group????

THOM
rivka: (her majesty)
So [livejournal.com profile] therealjae is going to be here in about three hours. She's coming to spend the weekend. After all our hours-long IM conversations, at last she will be perched in my living room drinking my whisky. And the living room is even clean, thanks in large part to [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel. Tomorrow, Misha's taking off to Camden, New Jersey with Bill and maybe Ben - they're going to tour the battleship New Jersey, indulging that military-geek thing they all have, and not so incidentally giving me and Jennie a day alone together. And for Sunday we have free passes to the National Aquarium, followed by sushi. (I love the aquarium, but it always makes me yearn for raw fish.)

So, everything's wonderful. Right? Wrong.

I still have my cold. I'm still sniffly and low-energy and dull, and my nose glows incandescently red from being blown every five minutes. I'm hoarse and coughing and sniffling and in other words desperately unattractive, and I... just don't feel like I have any sparkle. I'm not feeling very interesting or fun. Just germy.

Jennie will like me anyway. She's promised me that I can't mess this up by any sort of ordinary means. But I've been so looking forward to this visit, and wanting it to be perfect, and wanting her to really really like me, and in short wanting to make the absolute most of an occasion that's not going to happen very often. My killer high expectations strike again.

I'm sure I'll get by. Misha had a cold on our honeymoon, and still seemed to enjoy himself - and me - properly. It's just... feeling sick and dull is triggering my social anxiety, I guess. It just doesn't make me feel very likeable.
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
So today was the sermon about fidelity and adultery - the one that prompted [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel and I to come out as poly to our minister. It was better than I could possibly have imagined. I took notes, because I figured people who had been following the saga would be interested.

He based the sermon on the first two principles of Unitarian-Universalism: affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the promotion of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. He argued that these two principles are not only the basis for agape love (roughly, brotherly love or love for humanity), but need to underlie eros (sexual or romantic love) as well. Thus, he called for a fundamental sexual ethic of caring and respect in all relationships.

He said that fundamentally, to have fully equal and caring relationships we have to love and care for ourselves, and feel worthy of love. The next essential step is feeling care and respect for our partners, and the third is to communicate with our partners about their needs and feelings.

He argued that sexual relationships must take place in a context of equality, in which no one is coerced and no one is taking advantage of privilege or position. He specifically mentioned sexual abuse by the clergy, and clergy-parishoner relationships - and he made it clear that he wasn't talking about Catholic priests alone. He stressed the importance of keeping vows that one has made with regard to sexuality, whether they be vows of celibacy or marriage vows. And he also talked about the critical importance of being responsible for the consequences of sexual relationships - for example, taking responsibility not to conceive children one doesn't want.

"Do I condemn open relationships?" [At this point, Misha and I just about fell over in shock.] He went on to say that there have been times throughout history when multiple wives have been the norm, for various reasons, and other times in which men have felt entitled to free access to multiple women - such as slaveowners and slave women - and that these situations have often been oppressive.

"But these are not what I mean." He mentioned that some people vow to marry "forsaking all others," while others consciously decide not to include that vow. "For most of us, faithfulness will mean monogamy, in part because it's hard enough to have a committed, faithful relationship with one person, let alone more. But there is now a group within the Unitarian Church called Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness. This in not about 60s swinging, nor about secret affairs. It's about openness, honesty, and faithfulness in more than one relationship. Is this adultery? If we can keep faith with multiple partners it is *not* adultery - but I have to add, it's not for me."

He then went on to say that although we'd been talking so far about committed relationships, he thought the same ethics and principles were critically important in non-committed sexual interactions as well: caring, respect, responsibility, concern for consequences.

It was a really, really, really good sermon. I'm so proud right now to be a member of this church.
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
It went well.

[livejournal.com profile] curiousangel posted a nice summary of the meeting here. The first few minutes were horribly awkward, but once we got into it we had a lovely conversation. He'd heard of polyamory, but didn't really know anything about it, and hadn't met any poly folk before. He was interested and receptive, and seemed impressed with the diligence with which we'd thought things out. We were all on very firm ground together, talking about the importance of honesty and respect and caring and mutual support in ethical relationships.

We talked about our intentions toward the congregation - that we don't want to make a big speech or do advocacy, but that we don't intend to hide the fact that we're poly. He agreed that it was sensible to approach it person by person, as things came up. He did want to be sure we knew that not everyone would be supportive, and - he's a pretty subtle guy, but I think this is what he was saying - that if we chose to recruit partners from within the congregation we'd need to be open enough about poly that it wouldn't look like cheating, and thus create congregational drama. In all, he was supportive in a moderate sort of way. He's not going to run to man the poly barricades - he said something about, "at this point, I don't think this is a social justice issue" - but he's not going to stand idly by and let us be hounded out of the congregation if people get indignant about our sex lives.

And he said: "I'm really glad you came and talked to me about this, because I might have unwittingly said something that would have been hurtful." Which, you know, was exactly why we went.

It was good. I'm proud of us, and of him, and of the whole darned Unitarian faith.
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
At 5:00 tomorrow afternoon, [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel and I are meeting with Reverend Manwell to talk about the poly thing.

Tonight, we talked over what exactly we want to say to him. I'm proud of how we worked it through together, although I'm still really nervous. Here are the talking points we developed. Of course, the course of the conversation will largely be determined by his reactions, but here's what we thought it was essential to get across:

We had some concerns raised by the title of next week's sermon.
"Fidelity" is something we believe very strongly in - in terms of
being faithful to the promises you make in a relationship. But we
think that our culture equates "fidelity" and "monogamy" - there's an
assumption that only monogamous relationships are faithful, or
ethical. We disagree. We are faithful to the vows we made to each
other, but our vows specifically and intentially did not include a
promise of monogamy.

We know that a fundamental UU [Unitarian-Universalist] principle is
that there are multiple valid paths in life. But at the same time,
we've seen how there can be individual, or cultural, blind spots -
areas in which people don't think variation is acceptable, or perhaps
haven't fully examined alternatives to the norm. From what we
understand, the question of monogamy vs. polyamory is one of those
areas for the UU church.

We aren't arguing in favor of an ethics-free sexuality - we think that
an ethic of care, honesty, communication, and mutual respect is
critical in polyamorous as well as monogamous relationships. We
recognize that probably most people's experiences with nonmonogamy
have not been in ethical situations - for example, people have been
cheated on, or pressured into "swinging" or "free love" when they
didn't want to be. That's not what we believe in - we believe in
consensual and honest relationships, always.

What do we want?
- we want to continue to feel comfortable and welcome as members of
this church.
- we hope that your sermon on fidelity and adultery will focus on the
wrongs done by dishonesty and betrayal of trust, and not on
nonmonogamy as an inherent breach of faith, or monogamy as the only
valid relationship model.
- we don't expect you to become a polyamory booster, but we hope the
church will move towards acceptance of variation along this spectrum.



We'll be bringing, as visual aids, a copy of our wedding vows and some excerpts from the alt.poly FAQ. In the meantime, I've posted this here and to alt.polyamory, in hopes that people will have some useful comments.

I'm so nervous.
rivka: (Default)
Went to church this morning - it was Springfest, which meant lots of songs and stories and people dressed up and adorable children in a dragon costume. As soon as we sat down, [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel called my attention to the list of upcoming services in the bulletin:

April 21 Fidelity in an Age of Pleasure Rev. John Manwell
In this seventh in our occasional series on the Ten Commandments, we ask what the commandment against adultery can mean for us in an era when we more and more justify the pursuit of pleasure. What shall be our ethic of sexuality?

Well.

This is, after all, a Unitarian church - it's a liberal faith. It embraces diversity. Our church in particular has a very strong LGBT outreach program. The whole basis of Unitarian-Univeralism is for members to support each other in our own spiritual journeys, recognizing that the paths we each take will be different. But. As we learned in the UU church in Iowa City, when we said we wanted to be married by [livejournal.com profile] saoba, Wiccan priestess... there are hidden illiberalities.

We talked about it, tentatively, in the car on the way home. Neither one of us is much inclined to the Big Speech method of coming out; we'd always intended to eventually be out at church, but we wanted it to happen naturally as people knew us better. And yet I found that I really didn't like the idea of sitting in a pew listening to a sermon about monogamy being the sine qua non of fidelity. Misha is hopeful that the sermon will focus on the true meaning of fidelity - being true to the vows one has made - and won't equate fidelity and monogamy. I don't know. I wish I thought I could be sure.

At this point, we're thinking that we'll e-mail Rev. Manwell and ask him if he can find time to meet with us before next Sunday. But I'm uncomfortable about doing this now. It feels rushed, and it's also... well. If we're not welcome because we're poly, that's something we need to know. And yet it's something I'd hate to find out, because I feel so happy there.

Gosh.

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