Last Tuesday, I stood in front of a class full of seminarians and made a presentation about how we would be imaging God in our class. While I read scripture, I showed slides of classic Bible scenes as depicted by cultures all over the world. Jesus was Korean, African, Chinese, Indian, White, European American, Sioux, Cherokee, Italian, Saudi Arabian, and Palestinian. In my language, I spoke of what it means to open our imaging of God so that those in the pews can see themselves as created in God’s image. In my language, I asked them also to imagine that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered members of their congregations were also created in God’s image. I teach in a liberal, inclusive Jesuit seminary that has found a way to make room for Protestants from many denominations to study alongside Catholic students, and train together for work in ministry.
A year ago, I was a churchplanter in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Shortly after my ordination in June 2009, I left the ECC church I had worked at for eight years to start a new congregation in Seattle’s diverse University District. As my husband and I made it known that we would be planting a new congregation, the question came up again and again: would I be welcome at your church? Would my parents be welcome at your church? When people start asking if they would be welcome, if they would be safe in church, something is wrong. I knew I needed to step into God’s call on my life as a minister, and preach openly that all of us, gay and straight, are welcomed and celebrated in the God’s kingdom. Soon thereafter, we officially announced that the churchplant would be open and affirming. Continue reading Leah Klug: “Let Us Work Together”