NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2016

We all want to believe that healthy change is possible. As a person of faith, I certainly believe that. As a person of faith, I also know the dangers of false promises being offered to try and create unhealthy change.

For example: The lies and danger of efforts to change sexual orientation and gender identity have been well documented. Every reputable sociological, psychological and medical organization is on record vehemently opposing such reparative therapies that attempt to make changing one’s sexual orientation possible.

The American Psychological Associations (APA) resolved the following beginning in 1998 and again on August 5, 2009, “…The APA affirms that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality regardless of sexual orientation identity.” They further resolved “that the APA encourages mental health professionals to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts by promoting or promising change in sexual orientation when providing assistance to individuals distressed by their own or others sexual orientation.”

Yet, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, despite the abysmal failure of such attempts to change that which God has no intention to be changed, there are churches and religiously related organizations out there, still to this day, peddling this nonsense of “pray the gay away.”

Untold damage has been done to LGBTQ persons by such nonsensical efforts that has stymied the emotional and mental development of many of those subjected to these therapies. As a person of faith, I am even more aware of how this has also adversely affected LGBTQ people’s spiritual connection with The Divine. When LGBTQ people have tried to change their sexual orientation and found it impossible, they tend to also doubt that healthy changes one needs to make one’s life full and whole is possible. The by-product of such beliefs cause many to live subpar existences to that which God desires for them and created them to live.

This week’s assigned Gospel text is a parable from Luke 19. It’s about a man named Zacchaeus. The parable gives us helpful hints to the reason healthy change is possible. Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, this parable offers us a reason to believe that heathy changes in our lives are possible.

So, join us for worship at Covenant on this Sunday, the day before Halloween. There’s nothing scary about the message. Just the opposite, it gives us hope in “The Reason Why Change is Possible” for each of us. The scripture text is “Luke 19:1-10.”

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