Alison Wisneski

As two gay people living separately in the Midwest, we weren’t doing a lot.

As two gay people living together in Colorado, we’re trying to do more.

Betsy and I received a civil union at our church, First United Methodist Church of Boulder, on the first day of autumn – September 22. Our pastors apologized for the harmful and hurtful ways the United Methodist Church treats LGBTQ persons. They said that people called us “biblically disobedient,” to which they challenged that no, we were absolutely biblically obedient. What we were doing was “Ecclesiastically disobedient.” We liked that. A lot.

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Pastors Pat Bruns and Joe Agne sign the civil union document, while Alison, Betsy, and witness Preston Vaughn look on

We were the first same-sex couple to receive a civil union inside of the sanctuary of FUMC, and we are so proud and so honored. Last Easter, our pastors wrote a statement saying they were going to begin to perform unions to couples who asked, and it was signed by over 300 people. As two people who signed it, we were lucky enough to see our dreams become reality.

Betsy and I are pretty different when it comes to levels of our openness. I scored nearly full extrovert on the Myers-Briggs scale, while Betsy was the perfect center of introvert and extrovert. She wanted a small, simple ceremony with just the pastors. I wanted to livestream it on the Love Prevails site. We found the perfect middle (as we always do) in this blog and with some photos. We’re disrupting on a level that we’re both comfortable with.

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First United Methodist Church of Boulder’s first civil union performed in the sanctuary

We made it an open invitation for the church to come. This is a church that became reconciling 16 years ago and lost members who believed that FUMC was breaking the outdated, non-inclusive language code of the UM Book of Discipline, stating that our sexuality was incompatible with Jesus’ teachings. Betsy and I often joke that we believe Jesus would totally hang out with us. The Jesus we know, love, and follow would have been sitting somewhere in the pews on Sunday. Chances are, the Jesus we know would have been laughing and crying right along with us. We saw Jesus in the faces of the people who attended. The faces of love, compassion, and hope for our relationship and for relationships to come that are LGBTQ-identified and Methodist. Being both gay and Methodist can coincide in harmony, just like an extrovert and a semi-introvert can.

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