August has arrived and the heat is on! Actually the heat has been on this whole summer and before. However, the temperature is not the only heat for which many folks have to deal with. There is still too many things that folks in our LGBTQ community are having to deal from “the heat” caused by homophobia in the church.
In a recent Membership Class, one man shared “the heat” he experienced at his former church earlier this year. When his partner of 18 years passed away from cancer, the church they had attended for many years wanted to charge excessive fees to be the host church for the funeral. In addition, he was told he could not refer to himself as the spouse or partner of the deceased in the obituary and program. If that wasn’t bad enough, when this person was no longer making a substantial contribution to the pastor’s love offering each month, the sermons became increasingly homophobic in which this individual was singled out. As you might know, “the heat” of such bad religion made it intolerable for this person to continue to worship at the church that had been his family of choice for many years.
If you ever wondered why the existence of Covenant is important and needed, the experience of this young man says it all. We have been and we continue to be “An inclusive community of faith – Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy.” The Emperor Napoleon said to his generals “We are dealers in hope.” And that is who we are called to be at Covenant. The writer of Proverbs said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Well, I just want to remind you that Covenant has a vision, and it begins with “Offering Hope.”
So join us in worship this Sunday as I begin a 3 part sermon series on the vision of Covenant. The young man’s story above is a classic example of why our vision is still very much needed today. This week the sermon is “The Vision is … Offering Hope!” The scriptural text is “Luke 4:14-21.”
Yes, it’s August; and the heat is on! So come and worship with us at Covenant and be refreshed by an extravagant welcome and a word of hope!