Last week our church posted an open letter on our website that has been distributed widely through social media. As we imagine there are many intended recipients who have not yet seen it, we are sending a portion of the letter to the Optimist in hopes that it will reach everyone who needs to read it.
The letter reads in part:
To the dearly beloved queer children of God, especially those connected with Abilene Christian University;
From the co-conspirators and friends of Galileo Church, a gathering of God’s faithful in the suburbs of Fort Worth;
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Mother-Father and our brother-Savior Jesus.
We hope this letter finds you feeling strong in the strength of God’s power; but we fear that may not be the case. Your identity, wherever you fall on the LGBTQ+ rainbow, has been under assault during this last little while…
That’s why we’re writing to you. We have news for you, and we’re hoping you’ll receive it as the best news you’ve ever heard: God’s love is real, and God’s love is for you, and God’s love is worth it…
We have found out the truth: that God’s love, rather than God’s judgment, is the force that powers the entire exquisite, expanding universe…God knows exactly who each of us is, and God is so extra that God loves us like a freakin’ waterfall of love, just as God made us. And God, as you no doubt know, made some of us QUEER. And fabulous. And glittery. And gorgeous. And did we mention fabulous?
The letter includes several theological assertions concerning the necessity of inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the church, and ends with this certainty:
…Thanks for reading. More than that: thanks for being. You are so loved. And nothing – no one – will keep us from telling you that, again and again and again. Because “neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Believe it. And stay fabulous.
The letter was signed by our pastoral staff, Missional Logistics Team, and Spiritual Care Team; and has garnered 150+ signatures on our website, including many from ACU alumni. The entire letter can be read here: http://galileochurch.org/pastoral-letters/2018/2/15/to-the-dearly-beloved-queer-people-of-acu.
Thank you for your consideration.
In the peace of Christ, and in the power of his living Spirit,
Rev. Dr. Katie Hays, Galileo Church’s Lead Evangelist