TELL YOUR PASTOR #imaffirming
Lent is the 40 days of repentance and reflection that invite followers of Jesus to prepare for Easter. Lent is a time to repent, simplify, prioritize, and recommit.
This Lenten season we are invite Christians to give up fear and silence to step into the light in support of LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ. This may mean repentance for past action or belief that excluded and harmed LGBTQ+ people. It may mean acknowledging that silence and inaction contributes to the injustice.
While most churches will say, “Everyone is welcome!” we know that for many churches this welcome has a stained glass ceiling when it comes to LGBTQ+ people. Folks may be welcome to come to a worship service but are they welcome to participate and share their spiritual gifts? Will their family be acknowledged as beloved and blessed by God? When push comes to shove, are LGBTQ+ Christians second class citizens in the church?
Increasingly, folks in the pews are recognizing the incredible harm the church has done to LGBTQ+ people. But they might not know what to do about it.
This Lent we are inviting you to “Tell Your Pastor” that you support full participation and full affirmation of LGBTQ+ people in the church. It can be scary for a pastor to speak out on LGBTQ+ justice if they feel like their church isn’t in a place to process that well. They don’t want to split their church. They don’t want to harm people in their congregation who feel threatened by this conversation.
But imagine the difference it might make if they heard from you!
What if they heard from people throughout their congregation say, “I’m affirming!”
What if they knew that you would support them in taking the risk to stand up and speak out for an equitable welcome to LGBTQ+ people?
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
Christianity is predominantly perceived to be anti-LGBTQ+. But Christians want to be known for radical LOVE not ignorant HATE.
LGBTQ+ people continue to be marginalized, excluded and harmed by the church. “Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming” is a concrete action church folks can take to STOP THE HARM and move towards true justice!
Church leaders may be afraid of opening this conversation in their congregation. Expressing your support for equitable welcome of LGBTQ+ people is TANGIBLE SUPPORT for your leaders taking the next step.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Commit to “Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming”
Sometime during the 40 days of Lent, make a concrete plan to talk to your church leadership about your support for LGBTQ+ people. If you’re unsure of what you believe or don’t yet feel ready for this kind of conversation, we urge you to contact us for resources that may help in your discernment process.
Is it best to set up a time to speak to them in person? Send an email? Give them a call?
The closer it gets to Easter, the busier your pastor will be and the less attention they’ll be able to give to your message. Plan to do it early in Lent!
Do you feel like you might need some supports in place to process the impact of your message? Who else in your congregation can join you in this initiative?
I am really concerned about how the church has hurt LGBTQ+ people. I believe the church needs to love ALL people and invite them to fully participate in the life of the congregation. I want you to know that I will support concrete steps towards full affirmation of LGBTQ+ people in our church. I will stay, I will engage, and I will contribute to this important work of justice.
Let’s take the next steps together!”
Spread the Word on Social Media
Use the “Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming” logo or frame! (hover over your profile photo and click update – click add frame and search for #imaffirming)
Use the hashtag #imaffirming
Make a short video sharing why you’re participating and invite others to join you.
Share on your church’s social media platforms.