In high school I strongly opposed same-sex attraction. I was not even sure that someone could be same-sex attracted and a Christian. Over the past 15 years, I have encountered numerous people in the LGBTQ community and I have learned a lot. A lot about myself, a lot about sexuality in general, and a lot about others. Several people in the LGBTQ community have shared their stories with me of coming out, of hating themselves, and of questioning God. Followed by stories of accepting themselves, of finding people to listen and even people to love and share their lives with. Through these stories I have encountered the pain, questions, and struggles of the LGBTQ community. But I have also seen the joy and peace that can come when people are allowed to fully disclose their sexual journeys. And I have made many friends along the way.
I am a part of the OneTable Team of 10 because I am passionate about people’s stories being told and heard. And particularly, as a Mennonite pastor, I am also concerned with the peace and justice part of these conversations. I am concerned with how the church can better love our LGBTQ neighbors. Because this is just it, they are our neighbors. I wonder, will the church call for the bullying of LGBTQ people to stop? And how can the church support Christians who are same-sex attracted? Finally, how can the church better listen to people and love people, no matter their sexual orientation? I am hoping that OneTable will be a place for stories to be told and heard and a place where the church can learn to love our neighbors.