10 Questions for an LGBTQ-Considering Church
Seven years ago our college freshman surprised us with a letter home, telling us she was attracted to women. Hannah had been a model youth group kid in high school, committed to her small group, working with children, and leading worship. Unbeknownst to us all, while busy pursuing her faith and ministry, she had also been trying to “pray it away.” She was taking the approach prescribed by the church she was born into and raised by, the church that said this prescription came from the Bible.
For that and myriad other reasons, I left that church about five years ago, and have been worshiping elsewhere in town. Leaving a two-decade relationship with a church where I was a leader for adults and children, for worship and small groups – and where I started and raised my family and was generally “all in” – has not been easy; it’s been filled with deep loss, deep questions, and in many ways a reshuffling of social life in a small town.
My experience, and my daughter’s experience are different, but both have led me to ask these 10 questions of my former church and other churches willing to converse. These questions aren’t easy, nor were they easy to form – I’ve waited nearly seven years to ask them so directly.
Continue reading “The Answer is Still No”
“Let me first say that I am biased now and always will be,” Rob said, after I finally found the guts to call him. It seemed safe to confide in him since he lived so far away.
I called hoping Rob would know how I felt – since he had also spent time in a close-knit Christian community that didn’t – on paper – approve of his daughter’s sexual orientation. I was still in the early stages then, not yet talking locally about it but needing to know I wasn’t alone.
He did know how I felt, and talked me through it. Continue reading “Unbundling My Bias”
When I was a young parent, the beach we frequented hosted a Pride Festival once a year. On that day we would go to a different beach. I can’t remember all that we were afraid of, but the answer is probably somewhere close to everything. We didn’t know what our young child might be exposed to, so it was avoided. (To be fair, it also wrecked the parking)
As that very child came of age, the ineffectiveness of protectiveness was revealed. She is attracted to other women, and covering her young eyes would not change that. And so, twenty years later, I found myself volunteering alongside her at that very same Pride Festival. How did I get over myself?
Continue reading “What I learned from my first PRIDE Parade”
I’ve been on a journey into a new world of people and thinking, a group that I previously thought of as “others”. It’s the LGBTQ community, of which my daughter has become a part of since she came out. The good news is that I’ve found plenty of Love in God’s storehouse that overflows for all. The bad news is that I’ve had to confront a lot of things in myself to get there.
Well, actually both of those news stories are good.
There’s a special kind of challenge for a kid who grows up suppressing something they discover inside themselves, with few role models. I’ve had to ask myself how I’ve been a part of Continue reading “Paying Attention”
When my daughter came home from college this year in boyish clothes, she asked me to cut her hair. Short.
I’ve been cutting hair since a high school friend taught me to shape his boxy flat top fade. Taking the clippers to college, short-haired friends flourished and I started charging $4 a trim. And I’ve been my sons’ garage barber since they had hair.
But this felt different. She was beginning to look more like a boy, Continue reading “The Haircut”
“It may be working, just not for everyone.”
What a strong narrative of marriage and family life is woven into the local church. It’s surprising given that both Jesus and the apostle Paul were single.
A community wedding under the shade of century old oaks yielded a new “Mr. & Mrs.” this week, in a hillside amphitheater above the town. Blessed by the pastor, who was already talking about them having kids, the future looks bright for these two who are joining the narrative right on time.
Can I celebrate this marriage while also critiquing how much we celebrate marriage? Continue reading “Wedding Legos”