Today is Coming Out Day, and ReconcilingWorks wants to share this story from the pastor of a congregation on its Reconciling in Christ (RIC) journey.
“I’m gay,” my friend said to me over the phone. I was the first person that he confided in, he told me, and he was anxious about my response, wondering if I would reject him or if I would love him for who he is.
Years later I wonder how different this moment would’ve been, could’ve been for my friend if we had come of age now in this time of marriage equality and more societal acceptance of GLBTQ rights and dignity. Would he have been so scared about rejection from me, from our peers from church, from his parents, from our pastor today?
Now as a pastor myself, I have heard and seen many youth and young adults of my congregation struggle to be who they are, concerned about rejection from those who love them the most. Often they wrestle with how to be their true selves and with whether or not tell mom or dad that they are gay, bi or trans–wondering whether or not our church community will accept them and still claim them as beloved children of God. They doubt if God is even their God if their community of faith, the living body of Christ, rejects them.
My heart breaks that it is still this way for so many of God’s Beloved. My heart breaks that the youth and young adults of our congregations may not receive the open and welcoming support they need from our church in order to fully claim their identity and affirm their baptismal promises as a beloved children of God.
My trust is in God’s grace that the moral arc of the universe will not only continue to arc towards justice but towards unconditional love, radical hospitality, and incarnational welcome within our church and society.
Journies to become RIC matter more than ever for countless youth and young adults in the church. ReconcilingWorks is grateful over 430 communities are discerning this welcome now.
For resources about a RIC journey, visit RWKS.org/ric.