News from AllianceQ: April 2014

New Inspiration: Welcoming Openly

“Over and over I hear the question: We know we are a welcoming people, why do we have to say anything about it to the outside world?” reports Mark Johnston, Executive Director of GLAD’s Open & Affirming Ministry Program.

Dr. Johnston goes on to talk about why an open welcome is so important to him, about why an open welcome is so important to LGBT people. “In my previous life as a psychologist I worked with so many wounded people who, if they had known that there were churches that would offer them a safe space, perhaps they wouldn’t have made that suicide attempt, wouldn’t have fallen into addiction, wouldn’t have ended up homeless. Young LGBT people especially need to know that there’s a safe space for them. Who are we ministering to anyway, the comfortable people already inside our churches? or the hurting people outside our churches? That’s why the Open in Open & Affirming is so important!”

Thus the latest addition to the GLAD website: Inspiration: Welcoming Openly. You’ll find posted there a few personal stories about how an open welcome has made a difference.

You’re invited to add your own story. Submit your story sharing how an open welcome makes a difference in your life to [email protected], or contact Mark for suggested writing guidelines.

Be sure to check out other resources about welcoming openly under the Resources tab above. You may especially want to look at Why Be Openly Welcome?, a bookmark you can print and distribute at a pride event or a regional assembly, and A Church that Welcomes Everyone, a brochure you can print and distribute to explain your Open & Affirming witness to newcomers and outsiders.