In the coming days and weeks I am going to write an ongoing series on my blog about my journey in my 30 years of ministry on why I believe all persons (more specifically persons who are gay–GLBT) are children of God and should also have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone in our society including marriage, healthcare insurance, role in the church, etc.
I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time, and for whatever reason I feel led to do so now.
Of course, I can only speak from my personal life experience including:
- Being a former Baptist and UCC minister, and now a lay person in the Episcopal Church
- Being a Chaplain at The 1917 Clinic since 1994 and hearing the thousands of stories from patients, colleagues, and parents
- My understanding of a Biblical response that is often left out of the traditional church argument
- Being a straight, married, bald, white guy
I understand that trust is critical in this request. I also know that the primary way true change comes about in our lives is through personal story and relationships, not through a proof-text of the Bible or an hypothetical argument. I see this as part of my responsibility as a Chaplain in an HIV clinic and as a minister being faithful to the Christian faith as I understand it.
I do not take this issue lightly as it impacts persons I see everyday in my life.
My request is twofold (one, both, or neither):
- Write a sentence, paragraph, or more of your own personal story, perspective, or experience in being gay or having friends or family members who are gay. It can be an experience with the church or not, with God or not, or an experience with discrimination or issues you believe to be important in this discussion. Email it to me.
- Please tell other persons you know who may want to share the above with me.
I give you my word that I will:
- Protect all written responses with utmost confidentiality.
- If I use any part of your story on my blog, I will protect your identity unless you tell me otherwise.
What do I hope will happen as a result of this writing?
I do not have any expectations of grandiose change. I simply want to add my view and the stories of others to the discussion. I am open to hearing from others from both sides of the issue.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being my teacher,