Five years ago I was disintegrating inside. Many of the stories I had framed my life with no longer worked for me. In fact, they insulted my soul. Reality had changed in dramatic ways and I couldn’t go back to the way things were. I had tasted something new, more expansive and beautiful, and that changed me.
One of the implications was my perspective on the LGBTQ community and full inclusion in the life of the church. It was hard to come to the realization that I had been the privileged beneficiary of a broken system of exclusion and condemnation of a group already on the underside of power. Sadly, it was years before I found the courage to say it publicly. I was scared of losing friends, my church, and my job. I knew I would be slandered and maligned for it. I knew it would hurt.
But when a close friend came out to me in October 2014, the love I had for her gave me the courage I needed to stand up. Turns out I was right. I lost a lot of friends, mentors, and strained some family relationships over my change of heart. It cost our church a lot of money, people, and just plain energy. It felt like I got stuck in an argument over the Bible for a hundred years… this vitriolic conversation loop that I couldn’t get out of. Two years later I am so glad that’s in my rearview mirror. Now I don’t mean to say the pain is over. It’s almost a weekly occurrence that I have to deal with some form of garbage because of my change of heart on this topic. However, the joys have far outweighed the pain.
Our team at EastLake is passionate about sharing our journey to full inclusion. We have helped coach and encourage churches all over the nation and world on making this important shift. We have seen brand new INCLUSIVE churches launched out of EastLake. We have cheered as friends in other parts of the country took a stand in their own contexts and churches. And there are many more who are about to come out in the next 12 months!!! I plan to be in attendance in some of those churches on their special weekend.
An inclusive, unifying, love centered ethic is the wave of Spirit that the future is pulling us all towards and nothing can stop it. Upcoming generations have all but declared the era of LGBT exclusion and condemnation a thing of the past… a relic of past generations blindness to their biases and ugly prejudices. This is why I am so excited to be participating in the effort to produce a documentary to supplement the work we have already done at www.wearetogetherinthis.com .
YOU CAN HELP support his work by clicking the Kickstarter link on that page and making a contribution.
We are over halfway there.
And I believe we can do it.
Tell your LGBT brothers and sisters that we will no longer betray them with our silence.
We are together in this!