Those misguided, misinformed miscreants could not be more wrong. They have hammered their cultural bias upon Scripture and forged it into a weapon. They brand LGBT persons as outcasts, unlovable by God and therefore by Christians. I cannot—I will not— accept the status quo. Tradition does not in itself imbue truth. It is possible to be wrong for a long time. The Bible is being used by some to keep the world the same; but Scripture is a starting point, not an ending point. We must add to the structure begun by Scripture, a dynamic framework upon which we build.
This conference helped me learn more how to take my church on the journey to intentionally welcome the LGBT community. Framing the workshops were a number of worship services. Sitting in worship, knowing that every person in attendance was committed to welcoming everyone—and especially the gay community—was a rich experience. In one service the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus overflowed the choir loft behind the chancel and filled the flanking stairways up to the balcony. Just prior to the sermon, the men in the chorus put down their folios and grasped hands to sing "Walk Hand In Hand." These men of all ages, all shapes, all sizes, dressed in jacket and tie and joined hand by hand by hand, were beautiful. They lifted up their voices in glorious song. It gave me chills (again as I write this) and brought tears to my eyes to witness the moment. This, this, is what I want to see every Sunday in my church. This is where I feel welcome.
It struck me that, because of the silence on homosexuality, I do not feel fully welcome in my home church. As long as I keep my feelings closeted, I am greeted with smiles and open arms; but it feels like it's under false pretenses. I want to shout out what I know and still see those smiles and feel those hugs. Will it happen? We shall see. I am burning with hope and purpose, that this is what I will help bring to fruition.