This sign has meant so much to me in my lifetime.
It has meant family. It has meant worship. It has meant fun. It has meant potlucks. It has meant music. It has meant struggle.
The "You" has sometimes felt as though it required an asterisk. I wasn't always sure, as a gay person, if the Church really meant me. I believe, now, most everybody who has remained in the Episcopal Church USA believes the "You" includes me and "my kind". After all, when you want pageantry, "my kind" really know how to put on a show!! :-)
And, as our General Convention gets under way in Anaheim, I think it's time to consider the asterisk that still seems to reside on our sign. The one next to the word "welcomes".
I do believe there are many within the Church who feel genuinely welcoming of the LGBT community into their places of worship. I do believe there are many priests who would like to extend that welcome a little further to include our partners, our families, by blessing our marriages. And I am sure there are some LGBT clergy who have the patience, and the talent, to be bishops in the Church, if only the Church would welcome that service. I hope that, as this Convention moves forward, our Church will also move forward with considering the resolutions that will erase the asterisk some of us perceive next to the word "welcomes". This will not only mean something to me and others who are the faithful in the Church; it will speak volumes to those standing on the outside of the doors where this sign hangs, letting them know that they really are welcome to come inside and experience a liberating God.
And so, I pray:
"Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in Anaheim at the General Convention for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen"