“Not as a Stranger: How Churches Can Welcome Gay People (And Everybody Else)”: me

at Aleteia, a new Catholic site:

When I go to church on Sunday, I can look around and spot several other worshipers whom I know to be gay. We’re welcoming people at the door, organizing Sandwich Mondays for the homeless, serving at the altar, arranging flowers. This isn’t too unusual; gay people have spiritual lives and struggles like anybody else, and we often find that when we need to wrestle angels, we want to do it in a pew.
And yet, most parishes act as if gay people existed “out there,” where they push legislation through the state legislature or make sitcoms about sperm donors. When it comes to the people in the pews, we typically hear about – at most – two vocations: marriage and the priesthood. Everybody not called to one of these two forms of love gets a handshake at the Sign of Peace and a brochure for the Cardinal’s Appeal, and that’s about it. This is not enough guidance on how to build a life as a single person in loving service to others, and it leaves many people feeling unwelcomed and even degraded, reduced to a political football.

It would be easy to dismiss these feelings: “What, you want people to throw you a ticker-tape parade?” But the lack of welcome for gay Christians damages church life in several ways.


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