Similar to the article at The Episcopal Cafe, and was quoted in it, is this Open Letter to Religious Leaders in the Washington Post.
A UU minister talks about the current situation/events and encourages us to offer support for LGBT youth and adults, perhaps even from the pulpit, as National Coming Out Day is October 11.
Given some of the history in my parish of previous rector causing a split and leaving because of GC 2003 & Bp. Gene Robinson, I have some anxiety about talking about this in the pulpit even tho the ones with the most issues left with previous rector. (I did talk about similar intolerance issues related to Muslims the Sunday after 9/11 and people were appreciate and supportive afterward).
On the other hand, for a young adult male family member who became open to us this year about the fact that he was wrestling with sexual identity and is currently dressing more androgynously leaning toward feminine as part of this process... and all like him, I'd like to take steps toward both showing support and making it a safe place to consider discussing these issues.
At the WA Post article, while it's not new, I am saddened and disturbed by people's comments that say how hateful, and bigoted Christians are in general as well as toward the LGBT community. Granted, people who feel contentious may be more likely to post something. However, what does it say that this is their perception or experience? In part I think because it's controversial the media can be real good at showing intolerance in Christians, and movies and TV do too, and less often do they show those who express tolerance and love of neighbor. But beyond lack of representation, I wonder how much our simple silence contributes to the problem.
So I guess really there are 3 things I find myself thinking about:
1) Could we offer some kind of Forum or Discussion at the parish, open to the public around issues of bullying, or more specifically focused on current issues related to it in the LGBT community? What might it look like? Has anyone already done it? Resources?
2) How do we continue to raise awareness that "Christian" is not synonymous with anger, hatred, intolerance?
3) anyone else considering addressing this in the sermon this week (or last week)? Or have you in the past? Thoughts/suggestions (besides praying about it)? I see possible jump off point being the experience of those in Exile in Jeremiah, or Jesus' mercy. They may have no idea that Integrity exists... let them know about it? I'm also a member of PFLAG and have signed their Straight for Equality pledge.
If one does preach on it...what about those who weren't there but might hear about it? Do you follow up with an article? Make sure that rather than preach off an outline you have a full text that people can get a copy of if they wish?
I also have large meeting to attend and a Funeral this weekend. So another thing to consider is if this is really a good time for me to give it the time it needs, and would a future date be better?
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