Editor's Note: This contribution is in response to "Chris's Story".
I read your story and wanted to tell you that I was so encouraged by your story about how your dad stood up for you and was willing to stop the stewardship committee person from talking negatively about gay people.
Your story made me think of a family in my congreation who did the same thing for their son. Their story happened during the vote to be an Affirming Congregation. There were people who were opposed. I knew the vote was close but these parents let people know that if the vote was defeated that they would leave Knox United, even though they’d been there for a couple of generations. These parents decided that they could not continue to worship in a church that would not love and accept as Jesus did. As a result of this, the vote passed and we are now an Affirming Congregation.
Being an Indigeneous person I can see the paralells of struggle for acceptance and inclusion between gay and Indigeneous people. In the years to come, when I started at Knox, there was a wonderful friend, pastor and teacher who was the minister there, which gave me reasons to stay there. Nine years later I am so thankful for my church. It was in seeing how good can come from the struggle that I decided to become a pastor and look forward to ordination in April 2019.
A short story to encourage you…
Years ago, I watched an episode of Sally Jessie Raphael where there was a debate on gays in the church and whether they were loved and accepted by God.
On one side of the room were two older, bold wasico [editor's note: not sure of spelling] men each holding a bible and on the other side was a mother and her son who told a story of trying everything from psychotherapy to exorcism to help her son not to be gay. Ther conclusion was that God loved and accepted him as he was. The mother’s story stated clearly that she loved and accepted her son and believed God did also, and that it didn’t matter what these men or others like them believed.
The two older men’s response was like a loud, aggressive bark, “Well then, you won’t be going to heaven!” The young man’s quick, smart response was, “If you are going to be there — I don’t want to go there!” I will never forget how the young guy told them off!
Signed, Susie M.
(Shared with permission. Photo credit: wix stock photography.)