AnonymousDeleted UserNovember 11, 2020 at 9:40 pm
In her book, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans wrote this about the LGBTQ+ Christian community she had the chance to witness:
“…here they were, when they had every right in the world to run as far away from the church as their legs would carry them, worshipping together, praying together, healing together. Here they were, being the church that had rejected them. I felt simultaneously furious at Christianity’s enormous capacity to wound and awed by its miraculous capacity to heal.”
Almost two years ago, I had the opportunity to be a part of the leadership cohort for The Reformation Project, a ministry dedicated to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people within the Church. It was the first time that I had encountered any conservative LGBTQ+ Christians after spending over a year on my own thinking that I was the only one. And while at the time I still identified as a conservative, my exposure to the group and their deep thinking about faith and inclusion began to chip away at the tight grip I had on my own ideals.
In March 2019, I flew out to Orlando to join the 50+ other members of our cohort for a few days of fellowship and study together. During our opening worship segment, I felt the Holy Spirit’s leading in ways I had never experienced before — exactly as Rachel Held Evans described above. These were people who, for all intents and purposes, had been rejected by the church; told we didn’t belong. Yet within that, our desire to come together from all theological backgrounds to worship God completely pushed me to release the grip I had on my conservative theology so that I could open my mind and heart to more progressive ideals that would challenge and change me to this day.