When I took leave of my congregation in Virginia last August, I received a number of cards and notes wishing me well. In the midst of packing, I stuffed most of them in a bag to read when I arrived in Massachusetts. About a week later, I sat at the kitchen table and began to read…
There was one particular note which caught my attention. The first reason is that it was written by a teenager – and it was in cursive – and it was four pages long! The second reason I will remember this note for a long while is because of what it said.
The teen said that over the past number of months, he had realized he was gay. He hadn’t told anyone outside his family yet, but he wanted to let me know that he was grateful that when he fully came out, he knew he would be accepted by the church he had attended all of his life – the community among which he had been baptized and confirmed, took part in youth group and served as a youth delegate on council. He had no doubts that God accepted him for who he was…but it was a relief for him to know without doubt that his church would too.
June is Pride month. It started as an act of defiance after police raids at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969. It continues because there are still places where it is not safe to be openly gay – and many of those places (tragically) are churches.
You are God’s beloved. Rejoice and be glad! And may the church rejoice with you.