There is pervasive dialogue that concerns religious and LGBTQ2SIA+ communities being at odds with each other. If someone is both religious and identifying as a marginalized gender and/or identity, reconciling faith and being can be hard to tread.
However, plenty of religious communities provide support and resources to those oppressed by homophobia, including the United Church of Canada—the country’s largest protestant denomination. In 1988, they announced a decision to allow LGBTQ2SIA+ people to be ordained as ministers.
Since then, many communities under the United Church have become affirming—being inclusive of people of all sexual and gender identities.
Lynn Valley Church minister Blair Odney says he is encouraging LGBTQ2SIA+ people to live in the fullness of who they are, because he says it is a blessing.
Jesus said to his followers, I came that they may have life and have it abundantly, and that abundant life is living the fullness of who you’ve been created to be. It shows up in what your natural inclinations are.
Odney is an openly-gay man who recently became President-Elect of the Regional Pacific Council of the United Church. He says that in his congregation, he encourages the affirming practice every Sunday. He says he is much more interested in pro-compassion than anti-bullying.