I am a Gay man with a seven year old son. My father is 73. The three of us share a home together and my father is helping me to raise my son. We were all members of the Roman Catholic Church until last May when we began attending Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis.
Christ Church is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Christ Church is also an Oasis congregation which specifically welcomes GLBT people into its parish family. I cannot fully describe the joy and peace that we have found at Christ Church. For the first time in my life I am part of a church which not only fully accepts me and loves me but also fully accepts my sexuality. Actually, my sexuality at Christ Church is a non issue.
At Christ Church we have Gay and Lesbian Priests and Deacons who are out and have partners. Our bishop attended The St. Louis Pride Fest in June and stayed for several hours at The Episcopal Church's Pride Fest booth. Contrast this with my experience in the Roman Catholic Church in which for years I heard the Pope and the bishops tell me that my sexuality is disordered, ANY physical expression of my sexuality is intrinsically evil, that my family is not real and that I am doing violence to my son by raising him.
I also knew that if I dared to bring a boyfriend or a partner to Mass on a regular basis, that I would not only be barred from continuing to serve as a Eucharistic Minister, but I would be condemned as a public sinner and excommunicated. For the first time in my father's life his son no longer has to abide by an ecclesiastical, don't ask, don't tell, policy.
Rev. Susan, I cannot tell you how happy and thankful we are to have found a branch of the Holy Catholic Church, the Ancient Church, which fully accepts and loves us. I read the Bishop's Statement from New Orleans on EpiScope as soon as it came out. I was disappointed with it. However, there is no comparision to what the Episcopal Bishops said in their statement and the outright hostility that I recieved as a Gay man from the Pope and Roman Catholic Bishops for years.
In answer to the question, "Why would any Gay person want to be a Christian?", I would say because of Jesus Christ and his great love for us, which he demonstrated in his life, death, and glorious resurrection. My family has seen and experienced the love of Christ in the people of Christ Church Cathedral and the Episcopal Church.
I was proud when my son received his First Holy Communion on Pentecost Sunday in The Episcopal Church and my father and I will be very proud when we are received into the Anglican Communion at Christ Church Cathedral next Spring.
Thanks for listening.
Thanks for writing. And may God make this Communion worthy of the gifts you bring to it.