We extend a special welcome to those who love Chocolate Fish and to those who prefer their pour over Naked. We extend a special welcome to those who aim to lose a few pounds this new year and to the bros hoping for gains. You’re welcome here if this sanctuary brings you to tears or if being around this many people means your child won’t stop crying.
We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than Pope Francis or haven’t opened a Bible since third grade. We extend a special welcome to those thinking about retirement, those worried about caring for aging parents, and to teenagers wondering if selfie sticks are ok in worship. We welcome those who are in recovery and those still addicted.
We welcome you if the new year has brought on depression or if you’re flawlessly checking off your resolutions. We offer a special welcome to those who don’t like “organized religion.” Thankfully, we’re not too organized. We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who’ve been shunned excommunicated, or simply rejected by a church in the past. We welcome Crossfitters, yogis – hot and all other styles, powerlifters, spinners, marathoners, couch potatoes…and YOU!
We want LGBT teens and our whole neighborhood to know there is hope and churches that love and accept all children of God — just as they are.
Being LGBT is not a barrier to grace, leadership, or full participation in the life of our Christian community. Our sexuality and gender identity are gifts from God.
Tragically, LGBT people, and especially teens, are at high risk for suicide, and often for religious reasons. These most recent cases are only the tip of the iceberg. These are not just abstract statistics. These are our neighbors, our school children, our colleagues and our friends. Let’s not forget their names: Ronin Shimizu, a 12-year old from nearby Folsom, Asher Brown and Seth Walsh, both 13 years old; Billy Lucas and Justin Aaberg, both 15 years old; 18-year-old college student Tyler Clementi, and 19-year-old Raymond Chase. And there are many more whose names will never appear in media reports. One such suicide is too many. Six is appalling. Yet there are hundreds every year. In the midst of this hatred and fear, it is our responsibility to speak out and live hope, to be a community centered on love and radical inclusion.