As a queer youth in the United Church I want the church to know that it has made progress however we still have some way to go. The broader church has created some very welcoming and safe spaces for people such as myself, however at the congregational level something has to change. I learned today that only 6% of churches are [officially] Affirming*, and while that does not mean that 94% of churches are homophobic, it certainly does mean that some are.
Something needs to be done to fix that. Some balance must be struck between allowing each congregation the right to worship God in the way that they are most comfortable, while ensuring that the humanity and identity of all people are respected.
I do not have an answer to offer in this moment, and I don’t imagine that one will be found easily, however one needs to be found if we as a church want to call ourselves affirming and call ourselves advocates for the rights of LGBTQ people. Something that could help this issue is education. Having resources available in churches for those who are uncertain of where to start, providing speakers to churches who are ignorant to the issues we face or for churches unwilling to learn.
*Editor’s note: to know more about this nuances of this statistic please visit Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble website.
(Shared with permission. Image credit: Wix stock photo.)