The Answer is Still No

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”

Your Deconstruction is not just for you

Your deconstruction is not just for you. — Jeff Chu

The Evolving Faith conference just ended: it’s the first trip in a long time where I don’t want to go back home.  Autumn in Denver was sunny and crisp, sure, but the geographical magic was in the soul.  Continue reading “Your Deconstruction is not just for you”

The Connecting River

As she drives from Atlanta, away from a city church in the city lights, the darkness frames a distant memory: stars.  Not just the dippers, but “stars between stars, a virtual curtain of stardust upon which the larger constellations were hung.” She’s following these stars to a one-room white clapboard church where she will become its first female rector.  She’s also driving away from a certain striving – which it turns out, will follow her anywhere.

LeavingChurchThis beautiful book by Barbara Brown Taylor (BBT) offers a rare transparency from a person inside the clerical robes.  The countryside speaks to her faith. Its pages are full of spiritual honesty and earthy appreciation, as if Henri Nouwen were on a nature walk with Mary Oliver. Continue reading “The Connecting River”

Unbundling My Bias

“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”

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