Some churches that need your help …

Several churches from Evangelical backgrounds have in recent months made the decision to welcome LGBT persons as equals in their congregations. They knew they would pay a price for this decision, as some people would no longer want to be a part of or support their churches. Others, in time, will make the opposite decision, to join and support them because of this stand … but in the meantime, I hope many of us can show support from a distance.
1. Here’s a message from Ryan Meeks at Eastlake Church in Seattle:

Ryan Financial Update from EastLake Community Church Media on Vimeo.

To give, go here.
2. In Portland, Adam Philips leads a new church plant called Christ Church:
3. One of my highlights of 2014 was visiting GracePointe Church in Tennessee. What a beautiful spirit, and what a rich worship experience! I recently watched Pastor Stan Mitchell’s sermon online in which he explained how the church was changing its policies to end discrimination against LGBT people. I was deeply moved. Along with the courage to take a stand, GracePointe has set an example of graciousness toward those who don’t feel they can move forward with them on this journey. With a heart like that, I know that whatever the short-term stress, there will be long-term blessing and joy. Here’s the sermon (the section on inclusion begins at 44:00).

Living Between Emmanuel & Epiphany Part 3 – GracePointe Church from GracePointe Church on Vimeo.

You can support GracePointe here.
It’s not easy making a change like this, and I know that no pastor or leadership team would make such a decision lightly. As someone who grew up in segregated churches that were slow to acknowledge the injustice of racial exclusion, I am sensitive to the courage it takes to follow Christ on the path of inclusion, compassion, repentance, and justice.
I wish I could be present to express my support to these congregations and others like them, but I hope these words will send a big dose of encouragement, and I hope many of my blog readers will show support financially too. (If you’ve been wishing for a church in your area like these three, maybe you can start supporting from a distance longer term?)
I expect that in the coming years, dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of churches will forge a similar path. GracePoint in Tennessee, Eastlake in Seattle, Christ Church in Portland, Cedar Ridge in Maryland, and many other similar churches will stand as trailblazers whose example inspires and encourages others.