Last night I started to tear up in front of the church group in Parchment.
I was finishing up a two part Bible study on “The Biblical God’s View of Homosexuality”. It was the end of the hour long session. I wrapped up our review of the Scriptures by saying, “I just want to thank you.”
I said, “I want to thank you for looking at these Scriptures with an open mind and an open heart. We’ve studied the ‘clobber’ Scriptures that some Christians have used to ‘clobber’ gay people and tell them they’re going to hell. We’ve discovered that none of those Scriptures seem to represent God’s will for LGBTQ people today. They clearly denounce the abuse of any type of sexuality – child abuse, prostitution, gang rape. But they don’t declare LGBTQ people as we know them today to be terrible sinners deserving hell. Then we’ve looked at the Scriptures that highlight how God creates us just as we are and says ‘It is good.’ God loves our diversity. We’ve also seen how God has a special concern for those who are excluded or treated as second class citizens like LGBTQ people.”
I continued, “But most of all I want to thank you for the way you…”
This is when I started getting choked up.
“For the way you have supported us this year and loved our daughter and her partner.”
I went on to tell about the journey we’ve been on with this church over the past year.
“Lori first shared with you that our daughter Sarah was gay during her Lenten Talk this spring. She talked about God’s holy surprises. Afterwards, you were so supportive and encouraging to Lori. I mentioned it briefly in a message in May. I expected some negative flak for mentioning the word homosexual in the pulpit. But once again, you were supportive and encouraging. But the time you shocked me…
I have a hard time getting out the next story because I treasure the wonderful surprise of this moment…
“You shocked me on that Sunday in July when Sarah and Ali visited our worship service. I hadn’t planned to say anything. I was keeping Sarah and Ali’s wedding a secret. I didn’t want any of you to be offended or upset. I announced that Sarah and her partner Ali were with us in worship. I pointed to them.”
“Then I went on to say to everyone that Sunday morning, ‘And they’ll be getting married next month.’ You shocked me when everyone started clapping – as if you were really excited for them. That really touched me. I’ll always treasure that wonderful way you accepted and loved our daughter and her partner.”
I am thankful for my church family at the Parchment United Methodist Church.