Pastoral word to the LGBTQ+ community

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offered the following pastoral word as a video message on June 30, 2023, at the end of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

Text of pastoral word to the LGBTQ+ community

Hello to all of my friends in Christ and all of my friends of goodwill of many faiths. We’re here on the last day of Pride Month. And I wanted to take a moment to address all of my LGBTQ+ family members.

I want you to know that one of the most profound convictions in my heart, based on Holy Scripture, what I read in Scripture and hear in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, is that all of us—every human child of God—is made in the image of God with infinite value and worth, and that is not decreed by any government. It is decreed by almighty God. In Genesis chapter 1, God made human beings in God’s image and likeness. I believe that is true for all of us.

I’m mindful that this is a difficult time for our LGBTQ+ family and siblings, for my friends. More than 70 anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been enacted so far this year. And this morning’s Supreme Court decision will only add pain and difficulty.

In particular, we have seen our transgender siblings targeted. And if you are among them, I want you to know and remember that you are created by God, in the image of God, and that is God decreed.

This may feel like a moment of difficulty and darkness, and it is. And yet the work goes on. Our commitment to you as a church is unswerving.

I believe deep in my soul that God is always seeking to create a world and a society where all are loved, where justice is done, and where the God-given equality of us all is honored in our relationships, in our social arrangements, and in law.

This is a difficult time. I am mindful of another difficult time, in the 19th century, in the midst of the struggle—once again for human dignity and equality—in the midst of the struggle to bring chattel slavery in America to an end; in the midst of a century where this nation entered into a civil war; in the midst of a time when the Mexican American war was tearing much of the country apart.

In that context, James Russell Lowell penned a poem, part of which speaks of the cross as a scaffold. And he said this:

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ‘tis truth alone is strong,
though her portion be a scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong,
yet that scaffold sways the future. And behind the dim unknown
standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

The hymn “Once to every man and nation,” excerpted and arranged from “The Present Crisis,” James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) by Gar­rett Hor­der in Hymns Sup­ple­ment­al to Ex­ist­ing Col­lec­tions, 1896.

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you his peace.
May the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be on you and remain with you and the entire human family, and all of God’s creation—this day and forevermore.

God love you.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Being a Christian is not essentially about joining a church or being a nice person, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus, taking his teachings seriously, letting his Spirit take the lead in our lives, and in so doing helping to change the world from our nightmare into God’s dream. ―Michael Curry, Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as Chair of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.

Presiding Bishop Curry was installed as the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church on November 1, 2015. He was elected to a nine-year term and confirmed at the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 27, 2015.

Read Presiding Bishop Curry’s biography and find out about the Jesus Movement.

The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, reaching out to the world.

Church of the Redeemer

Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, and reaching out to the world around us. We are an Episcopal Church serving north King County and south Snohomish County, Washington. As you travel your road, go with friends walking the way of Jesus at Redeemer.

Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. The campus is a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. And we managed to hide a large building on the side of a hill that is not easily seen from the street.

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