Well let me tell you what it means to ME – a queer Christian person.
Taking that step to be affirming, quite simply is like turning a light on a very, very dark path. Now, that light isn’t going to tell you how long the path is, or what direction to go. It’s also not going to tell you how treacherous the path is up ahead. But MAN, that light is going to make it a WHOLE LOT easier to see.
And it’s going to be a WHOLE LOT SAFER to keep walking. And having safe spaces to an LGBTQ person of faith, is like having a drink of cold water in the middle of a massive desert.
Now, let’s be clear. Becoming affirming isn’t the end of the journey, rather it is the beginning. It doesn’t mean the work or the learning is done. It doesn’t erase the years and years of deep hurt and trauma that the church as a whole has caused to gay people.
BUT it means, now we can acknowledge and grieve that TOGETHER. It means taking each other’s hand, and taking that first big step toward healing. Because we were CREATED for healing.
By saying you are affirming, it means you are saying to me and people like me: I SEE you and I CELEBRATE ALL of YOU as a child of God – your sexuality included.
PHEW! Let me tell you. That is REVOLUTIONARY to us. It always makes me emotional, because quite honestly, it does NOT legitimately happen very often. And when it does, it’s actually hard for our tender hearts to believe.
Because so many of us have been promised a real welcome, but when it comes right down to it, they were hiding a huge ASTERISK that allowed them a way out. I personally have been a part of that journey many times, and each time it happens, it chips away a little more of your soul.
So please, be gentle with our fragile & untrusting hearts.
For a church to actually FOLLOW THROUGH with being affirming – for us queer folks… it is life CHANGING.
It means that you are not just saying we have a seat at the table, but you are showing us where to sit.
As far as our (gay) research shows, there are over 100 churches here in Chilliwack, BC. Two of them that we know of are fully LGBTQ affirming. TWO. That’s less than 2%. Since moving here in the summer, many people (gay and straight) have asked if we have found a church here. There is a NEED for many more affirming churches in this community.
If your church wants to have this conversation, contact me.
If your church is struggling with this conversation, contact me.
If your church wants a gay Christian (yes we exist!) to speak about this from the pulpit so a pastor doesn’t have to – contact me.
If you are queer and go to an unaffirming church and want support, contact me.
If you are queer and you have left or been kicked out, I’m so sorry. I see you. I’m here if you need someone in your corner.
We need to change this. I will do what I can to help change this. We need more inclusive spaces in our churches. It’s not about comfort or being trendy.
Being an affirming church SAVES LIVES.
Thanks for coming to my Gay Ted Talk.