Believe that your Heavenly Parents spiritually put you here to have this life. You don’t have to do it to someone else’s timing or model, because even though you may appear to be like others your spiritual plan is to return with more light, your light on your own time and way and plan.
Every organization has individuals working within it whose leadership skills and commitment to service to others combine in such a way that they make a real difference in the lives of others and in the mission of the organization. Affirmation has such individuals, and we would like to recognize and honor them. Each year, should a suitable candidate be nominated, an award for outstanding leadership and service is presented at the annual conference.
We need safe spaces to discuss and work through the pain that has just been inflicted upon our fellow humans, upon members of our community. Let’s do everything within our power to create communities of safety and refuge. It’s always the time to offer our love and care to those in pain.
The senseless violence that occurred this morning in Orlando increased the particular sense of vulnerability that LGBTQ+ people live with every day. It is a reminder to all of us of the vital importance of the entire world community standing together against all forms of hatred and intolerance, to build a beloved community where none need fear being singled out because of who they are, because of how they worship, or because of whom they love.
Jesus turned everything upside down. No sorting of people into social bins. Jesus ignored the social norms that spell out the who, when and what of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is full of surprises. The first shall be last. All are invited, the clean and the unclean. All are loved. All persons are of worth: free and slave, women and men. Everything is upside down and no one is excluded from the Kingdom as unworthy.
We strongly encourage fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, relatives and leaders to protect their loved ones, especially LGBT youth who are exposed to ridicule which has caused suicides. We advocate avoidance of public discourse that undermines human dignity, instead promoting fruits of the Spirit such as love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, temperance, and meekness.
To be born queer is to be born into a second family which is only discovered later in life. Just as we don’t choose our siblings but hopefully learn to love them and take pride in our family identity, we don’t choose our queerness but hopefully learn to love it, love our queer family, and take pride in our queer identity.
I marveled at the strength of conviction these friends have in the face of cultural and religious discrimination in so many of their communities and even from their loved ones in many cases. While affirming my admiration for their faithfulness, I voiced my belief that the only real testimony I currently can state with conviction, is my testimony of them.
By Jonathan Adamson
The Church does not deserve forgiveness. I, however, do deserve it. I deserve the healing that comes when I am able to forgive.
The pain can become a part of my healing as I recognize that the equally strong capacity for joy is buried along side it, deep within my being. This is the silver lining that I can and must draw upon for the strength to forgive, because the reality of life is, sometimes the pain never really goes away.