When I worked as a youth leader, I had the pleasure of having a few of my youth come out to me. Having the chance to minister to them as a supportive, understanding adult was a blessing and a responsibility I did not take lightly. While it was certainly serious business, their coming out also led to some moments of fun and amusement between us.
Right now, while living within an increasingly polarized nation, the hardest thing to do is to keep emulating Jesus. I utilized the word emulating for a reason. I utilized it, for as Christians, we are not simply called to follow Jesus; rather, we are called to emulate Jesus. We are called to live by his example, not just quote his words (or commentary on his words).
If you have not heard of Nancy Ledins, who passed away in July at age 84, her story is very much worth reading if you are concerned with Catholic LGBT issues.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
I am the daughter, granddaughter, niece and relative of more than ten evangelical Baptist and Methodist ministers in Alabama and Georgia. I am also an openly-gay married woman and the Alabama State Director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to achieving equality for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Americans.
Several years ago, I was pastor of a welcoming and affirming church. As a queer clergywoman, one would think that such a place would be the perfect place to flourish and thrive as a pastor.
Much of the pain and suffering LGBTQ African Americans experience in theologically conservative churches happens in silence and secret. Some LGBTQ congregants do not even recognize the source of their pain, because sexuality, let alone non-heterosexuality, is not discussed or taught in many African American churches.
Last week Wade Davis offered this invitation to white Americans in response to what happened in Charlottesville:
Over the past several days, I’ve watched a lot of things happen in our country. An unannounced march in the night with Hitler shirts and tiki torches. A white supremacist rally ending in violence, injury, and death. The president going in front of cameras and defending the white supremacists. It has been infuriating, frightening, sickening, and unavoidable.