Bethesda Presbyterian ChurchBethesda Presbyterian Church
OUR HOSPITALITY TO AND EMBRACE OF OUR LGBTQ NEIGHBORS
In our Statement of Welcome at the top of each Sunday’s Worship program, we boldly state and stand by this affirmation: “Bethesda Presbyterian Church is a diverse congregation welcoming all persons to serve Christ as full and active participants in our faith community, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, or any other personal attribute.” We are also proud that our pastor served 15 years ago on the pioneering national Presbyterian board whose witness opened the door for LGBTQ persons to serve in all levels of church governance – including pastoral ordination.
In keeping with our affirmation of our wildly Creative God and the wideness of God’s mercy, as well as our identity as a congregation in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), we have long welcomed and will continue to welcome the full inclusion in membership and leadership of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sisters and brothers.
As many of you have heard on the national news this month, our 2.3 million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination has now officially opened the door for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons to serve as Elders, Deacons, and Ministers of Word and Sacrament in welcoming congregations and presbyteries throughout the land. [Three of the best of several hundred national news reports on this historic event can be found here (NBC News-LA), here (LA Times), and here (NPR).]
With the blessing of our congregation, our BPC Session (church board) last June passed a Statement of Welcome trailblazing and anticipating such a national event. That Statement has been highlighted on our home page ever since. In our renowned BPC “Personal, Passionate, & Progressive” way, we at BPC continue to welcome with open arms — as full participants — all of God’s rainbow people seeking a church home. A home that, through our “back-of-the-bus” national policies now blessedly in the past, too long has been officially denied