Striving to be a True Community of Hospitality
The reality is that there are many churches and organizations that claim that "All Are Welcome" only for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)Ā sisters and brothers to be met by indifference and hostility.Ā People who identify as LGBTQ are being denied the expression of who they are as children of God with their full selves. Ā To me, this sad reality is how we as a Church have misinterpreted God and alienated sons and daughters from God's infinitely loving embrace. Ā For churches to claim this "worldly"Ā acceptance is not enough, as the invitation of Jesus is to embraceĀ acceptanceĀ that leads toĀ reconciliation.Ā It is for this reason that the time has come for Westminster to reaffirm its long history of faithful inclusion, by reaffirming our commitment to people who identify as LGBTQ.
As a church we believe that reconciliation is the heart of the Gospel message.Ā We believe that Jesus showed us how to live and invited us to celebrate God's living presence among usĀ as heĀ broke down the walls of hostility that divide and exclude others. As we follow in the ways of Jesus, the great reconciler, we are called to actively restore broken relationships.Ā We are called to affirm LGBTQ people as children of God, able to serve with their full selves in church and society and to give expression to their love and affection in marriage if they so desire. Ā Ā
With this reaffirmation, weĀ also apologize to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and confess our apathy at times. Ā As a congregation we have not always consistently spoken God's prophetic word against injustice, intolerance, exclusion, and hate, as we have been at times too occupied in saving the church as an institution.Ā We have often forgotten the words of Jesus; "For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25).
With this reaffirmation we also express our thankfulness as a congregation towards the Covenant Network of Presbyterians and More Light Presbyterians for their faithful work towards full inclusion of LGBTQ people in our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and society.
With this reaffirmation, we as a church also recommit ourselves to the ways of Jesus of Nazareth with our sense of hospitality and our desire to be a welcoming and inclusive church for all,Ā regardless of race, creed, age, cultural background, or sexual orientation.
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