Yesterday evening I was at one of our Affirming events - 'Our Stories' - evenings for parents of LGBTQ individuals.
Many who shared, said in different words "this is the only place I could come." Inspiring parents and caregivers from all different religious backgrounds who are working hard to support their LGBTQ children, and how to know where God and faith factors into all of it. Most of whom are not receiving support from their families or churches.
But for this moment, these precious folks had a safe space to be real. To see other people, offer each other support, and know that they truly are not alone.
"This is the only place I could come."
And I am heartened and heartbroken at once. Because they are right. This is surely one of the few churches in Calgary where they could come and truly be themselves. This imperfect and often chaotic church. I love this place but sometimes I hate it that we are so unique in this way. But even more so our responsibility.
I wanted you to know that it matters - I wanted you to know that this happened because I want these parents to always have a safe place to be. Being Affirming effects ALL of us. It's not just the person who comes out, but all of those who love them.
I'm beyond grateful for your support of this ministry.
When I think of National Coming Out Day - I am so thankful I found you 7 years ago, and that you had already become Affirming so that I would have a place.
We are truly in this together and it cannot happen any other way.