Reconciling Works and Trinity
As you all know, I have taken leadership in exploring the possibility of Trinity’s mission to be intentionally welcoming of LGBTQ people. We know that the idea of welcoming people is easy when we don’t know their personal realities, but when we do know them by a label, such as “Gay,” it can be more concerning. It is one thing to be tolerant, and another thing to be welcoming.
Trinity’s exploration group has been meeting for months, basically sharing our own stories. Some of us have gay family members who have not found a warm hand of welcome in the church. You and I know that some Christian churches are downright cruel about the reality of gay people. Our denomination has been more open and, in fact, has agreed to disagree about this issue, but has opened the door to gay pastors, and of course, gay members. Nevertheless, many ELCA congregations have done nothing to be more open, in their own communities. That’s where the RIC program has focused on helping churches like Trinity to be welcoming.
We have been talking about being welcoming! What does it mean to be unwelcoming? Stories are important ways for us all to wrap our minds and hearts around this issue. I would like to recommend to all of you who are able to use Netflix to watch an episode of Queer Eye, a Netflix television program geared at helping us be accepting. The episode is the first one of the Second Season of this show which was broadcast a few weeks ago. It is about 5 gay men who help a lady in Georgia, her son, and her church family. It is heartwarming, and a powerful proclamation of the love of God.
I hope many of you are able to view this episode on Netflix and in the privacy of your home reflect on the Love you have in your heart, and upon the good news we together share in our church and community. God be with all of us as we consider, in the coming months, what it means to be a welcoming congregation!
Pastor Torben Aarsand