I had a part-time job at a music store many years ago during seminary. At the time, it was a great place for me to get to know people outside of my almost exclusively Christian academic circles. I remember one conversation in particular that I had with a co-worker – a gay man, and the son of a local mayor. Knowing that I was studying to become a pastor, he told me that at one point in his life he had been very involved with his church – a leader in his youth group, singing on the worship team, and serving the homeless through the churches outreach ministry. When I inquired as to why he was no longer involved in church, he stopped what he was doing in that moment (shelving music books on one of the top shelves in this store), turned around to face me while still standing on the ladder, and with a hint of astonishment in his voice at (what he clearly believed to be) the obvious nature of his response, said, “Well, I stopped going to church because when I discovered that I was gay, I knew I had to choose between God and my lifestyle.” I didn’t know what to think. The idea that somehow the church had communicated that there was no room for him within the parameters of God’s love grieved my spirit.
On the afternoon of Saturday, June 8, St. John’s will march in the D.C. Pride Parade for its 8th year in a row. This is one of the many ways in which we as a church stand at the crossroads of faith & life and speak the truth about God’s love. One of the most beautiful and unique elements of our church’s participation in the parade is the inter-generational aspect of our community. If you are able-bodied and comfortable walking in the sun, please join us. Gary Dean and Kathy Kemper-Dean are our parade organizers this year, so please let them know if you plan on marching with us. More details to come.