On my church’s Facebook page it says this:
"As I write this around 15 of us have gathered together to create a new church in Brighton. It is The Village Metropolitan Community Church, a church born out of the LGBTQ community called to empower and serve the LGBTQ community.
Why another church when there are already so many in Brighton where LGBTQ people are welcome? Because I believe that only queer people have the right to define what a safe space for queer people looks like. Because I believe that LGBTQ equality is more than acceptance; it is our stories, our music, and the way we interpret the Bible. Because I believe that we have been called to do this.
Why another church?...Because I believe that LGBTQ equality is more than acceptance; it is our stories, our music, and the way we interpret the Bible.
When people of privilege set the liturgy, define the theology, create both implicit and tacit rules, they inevitably empower their own positions and culture. The church becomes a 'straight' place where LGBTQ people are invited in.
I believe that a really inclusive church is one where the culture is defined by the whole community. It is Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Straight, and other. It is a place where same-sex couples are truly equal to opposite-sex couples; not with two laws but with one. A place where people of all sexualities and gender expressions find that their stories are honoured in scripture and by others who have lived their faith in the world.
It is a place where same-sex couples are truly equal to opposite-sex couples; not with two laws but with one.
Too many people are bullied in churches. They are told that talking about their relationships and lifestyle openly, from the pulpit, in the worship prayers, makes some straight people feel uncomfortable. This form of censorship is bullying, nothing less. It's no wonder so many LGBTQ people feel very negatively about the church - it's rarely been a truly friendly place for us, even when we've served it well. Even when individual churches have proved to be the exception they have often had to live quietly under the ecclesiastical radar or risk denominational censorship.
It's no wonder so many LGBTQ people feel very negatively about the church - it's rarely been a truly friendly place for us, even when we've served it well.
There are those who would disagree with me, who would say that 'The Church' on the whole is changing, and that we are now being invited to the table. That's great, but I want more. I want a truly open table where only God issues the invitation.
I want a truly open table where only God issues the invitation.
I want a place where we celebrate what it is to be queer and serve the community of which we are a part. I want a church where we pray for drag queens and celebrate leathermen, a church where we give out condoms and talk about safer sex, a church where we are able to practice what we preach because it's relevant and real. I refuse to be bullied into pretending that God is more straight than Gay, that the Holy Spirit can be dictated to in any way, or that Jesus has stopped walking on the margins where two thousand years ago he also refused to be bullied by those with privilege.”
Genevieve shares an excerpt from the Village Metropolitan Community church in Brighton to conclude the three part series on Can We Gather?
Part 2 of Can We Gather? In this article, Genevieve addresses shame.