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Sharing our Stories: Jim Mills

I am 78 years old.

At age 9, on my own decision, I was baptized in Kerrville, Texas. I grew up Presbyterian and musical. I attended Sunday School, youth group, young married couples group and preached from the pulpit on youth days. I started out bigoted toward family, race and religion, in that order.

Jesus, who loves every person who has not despoiled God, Himself or the Holy Spirit, helped me overcome these rough edges. And, today, as a result, I am open to meeting and greeting and chancing all persons I may come across.

I still have too much ability to discourse and argue, but my children, their children and my great-grandchildren are all working at various times and in various ways to help me overcome this debility.

It has grieved me to be a member of a church which embraces divisiveness and curtails the love for people which Christ so adamantly requires of us.

I was ashamed when the newspapers announced that a father and preacher in our denomination was criticized and defrocked because of his love for his son, after he officiated his wedding to his same-gendered partner. I was cheered when our Bishop welcomed him to this conference and when he was re-frocked.

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