2SLGBTQIA+ Inclusion at The Road
The Road community is committed to seeing, knowing and being God's love everywhere we are. This includes our siblings in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We mean it. You, your story, and your embodied identity are valued here and are welcome to participate fully in the life of the community as we follow the path of Jesus together. At The Road Church, our hope and encouragement for human relationships, intimate and otherwise, is founded on relationship with a reconciling God. We follow Jesus here. It is Jesus' character and example that shapes our understanding of God's design for healthy, life-giving relationships.
Because we firmly believe that the image of God is in each one of us and because we lament the ways that those who identify as gender and sexual minorities have been harmed and excluded by the church at large, we have been on an intentional learning journey over the last two years, considering our own Biblical theology around inclusion as well our own contributions to harm, whether knowingly or unknowingly. We are genuinely seeking to ask ourselves, is The Road Church truly a safe space where all who are wishing to journey together with Jesus can be welcomed and valued?
In January 2022, we entered into a focussed Affirming Discernment Process culminating in a congregational vote on April 3 that was overwhelmingly in favour of our local church becoming "fully affirming." When we say "fully affirming" we mean that people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations are valued and welcomed into full participation in the life, discipleship and leadership of the church including baptism, communion and marriage. This may include roles in leadership, worship, children's ministry, or staff roles based on an individual's qualifications, gifting and spiritual maturity.
We also acknowledge that we are part of a denomination that is in the middle of a conversation about human sexuality, and whose members hold many divergent and in-process views on specific issues, including the affirmation of same-sex marriage. (Currently, our denomination does not officially support same-sex marriage, yet our local congregation voted in favour of full participation for marriage, so we find ourselves in this tension.) As such, we are awaiting key dialogue at the national assembly (Synod) in June 2022 to discern our next steps as a local congregation.
We have much still to learn but we want all of our 2SLGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ to know that you are welcomed and valued.
For further conversation and clarification about this, please do not hesitate to contact one of our pastors, Jacqui or Rich. See Pastor Rich's sermon on the "clobber passages" of Scripture here, our PIE Day service here, and video responses to the CRCNA Human Sexuality Report here.