At the most recent session meeting, Paula Hoglund and Elaine Presby presented a recommendation from the deacons on becoming a More Light Presbyterian Church.  More Light is an organization with the P(C)USA whose objective is “We’re working toward full participation of LGBTQIA+ people in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) – and in society.”  Session adopted the deacon’s recommendation.

I’m excited about MPC making this move!  You will be hearing more about this initiative soon. Over the weekend I ran across a story that painfully demonstrates why this type of effort is important.  I found this article on patheos.com.  It is written by Susan Cottrell who writes on helpingLGBTQ heal from parent, family, religious and community wounds” telling a story by author Caleb Woods.  You can see the full article and more by Clicking Here.

A Letter To My Boyfriend’s Homophobic Parents On Christmas

Congratulations. You’ve won. You’ve earned your ticket into Heaven by showing your son God’s love.

You’ve shown your son God’s love by not allowing him to bring me to your home for Christmas. You’ve done exactly what Jesus would do – shun others. After all, Jesus didn’t let JUST ANYONE at his table. It’s sad that on a day you celebrate the birth of Christ, you’ll be acting in the complete opposite way that Jesus acted. Alas, you must show your son God’s love and not condone “our behavior.”

It worked last Christmas. You manipulated him into coming home and he was treated as if he were a leper. He was called names, harassed, and told he was going to Hell because I was dragging him there myself. He was in mental anguish over your treatment of him. You tore him apart with your words. You degraded your only son.

But this Christmas…. He’s over it. He’s over the threats, the lies, and the bullying. Since you don’t recognize him and I as a couple and since you’ve said you won’t treat us like part of the family, he’s decided to choose love over hate this Christmas. He’s choosing to NOT go back to what he once called home. His home is with me and it has been for three years. He’s become an integral part of my family. While you were shunning your son away, he found a family of his own. He found people who love him without conditions. He found a table he was welcome at.

During your Christmas celebration when you try to justify your actions, please remember that you gave your son an ultimatum – for him to get rid of the love of his life or to leave your family. I know you blame me for taking your son away, but whether I’m in the picture or not, your son is still gay and you must face this realization.

You’ve made it abundantly clear that you think I’m demon-possessed, a bad influence, and a sinner. Your judgment of me has no effect, but your treatment of your son causes my heart to bleed. I’ve had to sit by and watch you throw stones at the person I love most. I’ve watched as you and the rest of his family have disowned him. I’ve thought of every scenario to get you to love your son again. I’ve blamed myself because I felt as if I personally caused him to lose his family. I know this isn’t the case and that your son chose me because he recognized true love. I’m writing this to say that I have your son’s love and that’s all that matters. Your son and I love each other and that love is eternal and unconditional.

While you’re feeling comforted knowing that you’ll be rewarded in the next life for “not condoning the gay lifestyle”, I’m consoling your son in THIS LIFE. I’m the shoulder your son cries on today. I’m the person who will hug him tight tomorrow. I’m the one who will apologize on your behalf until the day I die. I’m the one who wants to scream at you and say, “Stop! You’re hurting your son! You’re hurting your only son!” But deep down, I know where your heart lies. Your heart beats to that of a literal interpretation of the Bible. Your heart beats to Fox News. Your heart beats to discrimination and treating other “sinners” the way you think they should be treated – condemned to Hell. Your heart beats with hatred to the things you fear and do not understand.

This Christmas, your son and I are surrounding ourselves with people who love and care about us. We understand what true love is. So this Christmas when you think to yourselves, “He’s abandoned his family for the gay lifestyle,” just know that your son didn’t abandon you. He’s the same person he’s always been. You are the ones who changed. You’ve deemed certain people unworthy to sit at your table. You’ve put conditions on your love for your son and that is the worst Christmas gift of all.

– Caleb

Please include members of the LGBTQ community in your holiday prayers!