The Wedding at Cana: A Coming Out Story
Rev. Ellis Arnold Guest Preaching at 11:59am Worship
Sunday, November 24, 2019
As John’s gospel tells the story, while some were marveling at how water could have possibly become wine that day in Cana, those who were close saw the real miracle: a person refusing to hide any longer, conquering their fear, claiming their truth, letting themselves be known and seen for who they really are. It was the day that Jesus came out of the closet—not the kind of closet with rainbow wallpaper lining the interior, as talk of closets usually implies in our culture, but not unlike that either. No matter what closets we have (and yes, we all have them), "coming out" and letting ourselves be seen for who we truly is terrifying, and it is hard, and it needs to be done if we are going to live as beloved people of God and people inspired by Jesus who nurture transformative communities of faith.
Reverend Ellis Arnold is a renewing church pastor, curriculum writer, community organizer, and all-around church nerd. After working as a chaplain in Atlanta, GA, Ellis was puzzled to be enthusiastically saying yes to joining in ministry with a congregation in Decorah, IA. There, Ellis and the church found their gifts for creativity, radical hospitality, and innovation; their grounding in worship, love, and service; and their delight in developing new avenues for spiritual formation. Now serving as one of the Associate Conference Ministers for the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota Conferences of the UCC, Ellis’s energy gets channeled into collaboration with congregations and people of faith who are striving to transform not just the three feet around them, but also their communities and the world into a more just, generous, liberated place.
Ellis is the writer behind the facilitator guide augmenting the UCC’s White Privilege, Let’s Talk curriculum as well the developer of Exploring UCC History, Polity, and Theology, a congregational curriculum sponsored by the UCC’s MESA team. Outside the church, Ellis enjoys spending time in their stained glass studio or out biking through the rolling hills of the Driftless Region.
Rev. Arnold’s pronouns are they/them/theirs.