Each week, in the invitation to Holy Eucharist, I say, “Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, whatever the color of your skin, whether you are rich or poor, wherever you live, whomever you love, you are welcome here in this place and at this table. Come and be fed.” A group of vestry members, at the invitation of Deacon Pat Grodt, is initiating a process at St. Dunstan’s Church to ask one another if we are willing to commit to being a safe place for everyone, including those who identify as LGBTQ.
The following is a communication from that team. Our hope is that we can have an open, safe, trusting dialogue and determine whether we are willing to say that we are a safe, welcoming place for everyone.
All Are Welcome: A Dialogue
Many times, the very first thing people see when they look to St. Dunstan’s Church is our vision statement:
On earth as in heaven,
all are welcome,
all are fed,
and all are loved.
We know that here at St. Dunstan’s “all are welcome”. But sometimes we need to do more than just know it: we need to make it known where it can be heard and seen. Especially by those in the greatest need.
The Vestry has been learning about ways to do that, and one simple but powerful way is via a network of churches, many of them Episcopalian, which join a listing on websites which list churches that are welcoming and safe places for members of the LGBTQ+ community to come and be with God and other people. The two we are looking at Believe Out Loud and Beloved Arise. This simply involves our adding our church to their lists, nothing else.
In the current Covid situation, our hope is that they will come to our website and join with us online. But when we are again able to welcome our congregation into our church in person, we may gain new members of our community.
Please let us know your thoughts.