This afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00, our congregation begins a formal process to explore the possibility of becoming a more welcoming church to the LGBTQ community. The Spiritual Leadership Team, or SLT, is planning 3 of these Sunday afternoon conversations, one today, one in April, and one in May. No one on the SLT knows how long this process will take; for all anyone knows, we will still be talking about this through the fall. However long it takes, the SLT’s goal is to craft a congregational statement about inclusion by the end of the process, so that our congregation doesn’t have to discuss this issue again 2, 3, or 5 years down the road. Right now, no one knows what the content of that congregational statement will be. Maybe our final statement will say that all people, regardless of age, gender, race, citizenship status, abilities, or sexual orientation, are welcome as full participants in the life of our congregation. Or maybe our final statement will say that we can’t find common ground at this point in time, but hope to find more common ground in the future. The statement could say any number of things, but right now we don’t know what those things will be.
Why are we talking now about the possibility of becoming a more welcoming church to the LGBTQ community? Because Paula Killough, our congregational consultant, recommended it. As she moved around and listened to the people in our congregation, she heard a strong desire from many of you to have this conversation. She then recommended this to the SLT, and since about October, the SLT has been working to design a process for us to talk about this question.
- Psalm 133