Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 255 (LGBT Welcome)

We had another LGBT meeting today, and let me tell you, we have our work cut out for us! I think we named the group "LGBT Welcome," but I'm not really sure? Here is the updated draft of the Inclusive Community Statement, although I'm pretty sure it's going to be updated again in the next day or so...

San Francisco Theological Seminary, as a seminary of the PC(USA), as an academic institution preparing faithful followers of Christ for enacting God's will on earth as it is in heaven, and as a community of Christians committed to the radical inclusivity exemplified in the life and teaching of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, welcomes brothers and sisters of every age, race, color, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nation of origin and physical ability.

Seminary education, as a gateway to ministry in the Church at large, requires awareness of when children of God are being systematically barred not only from serving God to their fullest, but also from being Fully alive. Therefore, we emphasize that we stand firmly in solidarity with our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers in our community of SFTS in, with, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, which convicted us to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We seek to do this by advocating the full inclusion and participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the Church universal and our world community, by using education and compassion to eradicate homophobia and injustice in our Seminary, our Church, and our World, and by celebrating the faithful contributions of LGBT individuals to the Church and our world. At SFTS, we strive for this by:

1) Equipping our students
Including LGBT writers, Queer Theology, and alternative sexualities' perspectives in our curriculum. SFTS prepares whole leaders for the whole church.

2) Supporting all our graduates
While SFTS celebrates the accomplishments of all its graduates, it makes a concerted and conspicuous effort to affirm the ministries of our LGBT alumni and alumnae.

3) Transforming our world
By beginning within our Seminary community and going out into the world, SFTS aims to work against sexual and/or gender injustice and inequality. We welcome those who would join us in our celebration of God's expansive light.

Our first step is to start talking to people about it, and we have some ideas as to how to disseminate information about what this statement is for and why we think it's important. It's going to take a of work and a lot of courage, but I know that God is behind this movement and that we cannot fail.

I see many fruits coming from the work ahead of us reaching far beyond the inclusion of this statement. Now is a time of healing and growth for the seminary and I'm excited that God has chosen us to be a part of it!


  1. So much has been said and done to condemn and belittle gays all over the world, wht makes your seminary different? Even the Episcopalians have changed. Trust is like the soul, once it leaves it never returns. The 'church' has failed the people and in particular gays and the LDBT community as a whole. How do you see your seminary making any difference to those within our LGBT Community who feel betrayed and let down by the 'church'?
    love Rich:-)

  2. I'm not really sure I understand your question, but I'll try to answer.

    SFTS is part of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. This denomination, while being a little bit more liberal than some other denominations, is still not open to the idea of recognizing gay marriage or allowing LGBT to be ordained ministers.

    As with every great movement in the history of humankind, change has to start somewhere. While this change has been a long time coming, it still has a long way to go, and the people at my seminary have to do their part. It's just the beginning, and it might not seem that important, but this inclusivity statement is a start.