In the hymn “All Are Welcome” by Marty Haugen, we hear the poignant longing for a church where the gospel promises will be lived so that all God’s children will be loved and safe and free. This has been the cry of the LGBTQ2S+ community in society and in the church for decades. Although there have been affirmations of LGBTQ2S+ people in our church through General Synod and its resolutions (for example, General Synod 1995, Act 57; General Synod 2004, Act 37), we have work to do in their realization in the hearts and minds of parishioners in every place.
Pride month is an opportunity to lift up recognition of that work—to affirm the God-given dignity of every human being—and to value the contributions and gifts that LGBTQ2S+ communities bring to our church and our world. Our life as a church is enriched by the diversity of God’s people!
It is also a time to stand against any forms of discrimination and violence that continue to be experienced—particularly by the transgender community. Many live in fear every day wondering who will take exception to their presence. As a church, we are called to the radical hospitality of God envisioned in the gospel for everyone. It is our baptismal mandate to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.
Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard
And loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith and songs of grace,
Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
All are welcome, All are welcome, All are welcome in this place.
(Marty Haugen: All Are Welcome, 1994 GIA Publications, verse 5)
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
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