Greetings people of Zion! I trust you are enjoying our summer months, even though we would all like them to be a bit drier.
With the landmark ruling of the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage announced last month, we enter into the celebration and joy that many within the LGBT community have sought and fought for their whole lives. We must honor the sacrifices and pain of those who have exposed their private lives to public scrutiny and criticism. We must also be aware of and sensitive to the pain and turmoil this will cause for many who have a different understanding of this issue. We must all be prepared to meet anger with love and hatred with understanding. Please find time in your day to give thanks to God for the opportunities this decision presents as well as the wisdom and courage we will need to embrace those who find this decision troubling. We will still need to work for the acceptance and belonging that all of us would claim as God’s children.
Let us remember the words in our Open and Affirming statement: At Zion, “We extend God's Extravagant Welcome to persons of every gender, age, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental and physical ability, social and economic status, faith background, political and theological beliefs, marital standing and family structure.” At Zion, we are a diverse community of people, young and old, progressive and conservative. We have found a home here because we have learned that we do not all need to agree on everything in order to sit with one another in the pew, lifting our voices and our prayers to God.
In the coming weeks and months, it is likely that Zion will be asked to host weddings for gay and lesbian couples. It is my hope and prayer that you will join me in welcoming those couples, and celebrating with me the love they wish to declare in our historic and beautiful church. I am not asking you to change your mind on issues that you may find troubling, what I am asking is that you remember that Jesus' challenge to us is to seek not to judge one another, to find ways of including people rather than excluding them, and to love others as we ourselves would want to be loved.
If you would like to speak with me about this issue, or any other, please contact me. I want to hear from you. I desire to know and understand your thoughts and positions on this issue, as well as many others. I will be more effective in my service for you if I know you better.
With the Greatest of Hope!