I had an amazing weekend filming with the team from Out of Order! I am so excited about this project.
On one level, it’s a project about queer people seeking ordination in the PC(USA) (or already ordained) – but what I articulated this weekend was that for me, this is a story about the church just not knowing what to make of me. Or really, anyone who doesn’t quite fit the mold we’re used to. I sometimes feel like the church just isn’t ready for the reality of younger people, who maybe have tattoos or play sports or make art or teach yoga or prefer brunch on Sundays or really like arguing and debating and picking apart theology and other claims of Truth.
We filmed at the church where I grew up, and we also filmed at a Brandywine Roller Girls bout where I was refereeing. In talking about this project, a friend of mine commented that “the roller derby community is more like Jesus would have wanted the church to be: welcoming and accepting of people as they are, no strings attached.”
And that is SO true. Derby falls short of that ideal sometimes, too, but that kind of accepting spirit is really integral to what roller derby is today. While I was skating, we said it over and over again – you get on the rink, and it doesn’t matter how your day was, it just matters what you can do with 8 wheels on your feet.
There is such a hunger for that kind of community, especially as our generation becomes more and more transient and economically unstable. I love that I could go to just about any city in the US, and a lot more around the world, and immediately have a group I can belong to. And that belonging isn’t conditional – it doesn’t matter what my family looks like (or doesn’t), it just matters that I skate.
Imagine if the church could say that.