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Switch to Forum Live View A Unique Spiritual Journey
5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 3:09AM #1
Galtlovesgod
Posts: 17

I was raised by a very strict Southern Baptist father and an Agnostic mother.  My father's stifling, oppressive style of worship made me very uncomfortable, and I also didn't have a very clear understanding of a lot of teachings beyond a general fear.  I was never baptized in the Southern Baptist church.   

I found what felt like a conflict with my being gay and what I perceived were most church positions on this.  I thought that churches taught that Jesus hated gays, which is incorrect.  But as such, I set out on a spiritual journey that did NOT include a branch of Christianity. 

After much deliberation, I decided to convert to Judaism, and I eventually did convert to Reform Judaism.  After years of practicing Judaism, though, I found myself feeling spiritually empty.  And quite often enough, I'd find myself pondering Jesus.  I had rejected him for so long because my father told me that he would speak to me to be saved, but I never heard his call.  I believe I'm hearing his call now. 

My journey has led me here.  I have questions over which choice would be better--the Catholic or Episcopalian church?  See, even though I am gay, I am also socially conservative.  My views are very much in line with that of the Catholic church, both politically and spiritually.  My issue, though, is that I want to have a family and I want to be very involved with church life (send children to the school affiliated with the church, etc.). I'm afraid that I will find exclusion in the Catholic church, such as not letting the child of a gay parent attend school, or not admitting a non-traditional family to the parish.  The EC is very inclusive, but I don't like how liberal they tend to be in other respects. 

Any advice or words of encouragement or reflection would be greatly appreciated, though if you are messaging me to condemn homosexuality I ask that you please be civil and respectful that we are both children of God. 




I'd also like to add an answer to a potential frequent question:  I've narrowed the choice down to RCC and EC because RCC is the church that Jesus started, and the church with which I most closely agree.  The EC is also a consideration because it is the midway between Protestantism and RCC, arguably Angelo-Catholic.


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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 11:04AM #2
REteach
Posts: 14,439

As a whole, the Anglicans would probably be more welcoming.  However, there are gay friendly Catholic parishes.  


New Ways ministries in a gay positive Catholic group:  www.newwaysministry.org/ 


They have a list of gay friendly parishes: www.newwaysministry.org/GFP.html


Good luck on your journey.  Your understanding of Judaism will never be wasted.  After all, Jesus was devoutly Jewish. 

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 12:00PM #3
Galtlovesgod
Posts: 17

Thank you so much for the help.  My best friend lives in Santa Monica, CA and there is even a gay parisioners group at her parish.  My concern is not with having a group with which to isolate myself from the rest of the congregation.  I actually don't prefer to sequester myself into "gay" groups and the likes. 


 


I'm really just a normal guy who loves God and wants to worship in an environment that feels like a spiritual family where God's prescence is felt.  I don't mind if people disagree with my life, we are all sinners :)  I just don't want someone to say "you can't attend this church" or hopefully one day in the not too distant future, "your children cannot attend this school."  Because ultimately, God is love and forgiveness.

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5 years ago  ::  May 28, 2009 - 7:22PM #4
Ashe
Posts: 311

May 25, 2009 -- 12:00PM, Galtlovesgod wrote:


Thank you so much for the help.  My best friend lives in Santa Monica, CA and there is even a gay parisioners group at her parish.  My concern is not with having a group with which to isolate myself from the rest of the congregation.  I actually don't prefer to sequester myself into "gay" groups and the likes. 


 


I'm really just a normal guy who loves God and wants to worship in an environment that feels like a spiritual family where God's prescence is felt.  I don't mind if people disagree with my life, we are all sinners :)  I just don't want someone to say "you can't attend this church" or hopefully one day in the not too distant future, "your children cannot attend this school."  Because ultimately, God is love and forgiveness.




Hiya Galt,


Unfortunately it may be difficult for you to find a Catholic Church that welcomes you but they are out there and if your views are closer to those held by the Catholic Church than I suggest you keep looking until you find one that is less discriminating.  I'm not sure what other advice I could give you but I hope it works out and you find what you are looking for.  I know you said you did not want to isolate yourself from the general congregation but I am sure there are others out there who have been in the same position as you and maybe you could find a website (I don't know of any), where someone could offer you some good advice.


Veritas et Caritas.


 

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5 years ago  ::  May 28, 2009 - 8:25PM #5
REteach
Posts: 14,439

May 25, 2009 -- 12:00PM, Galtlovesgod wrote:

I'm really just a normal guy who loves God and wants to worship in an environment that feels like a spiritual family where God's prescence is felt.  I don't mind if people disagree with my life, we are all sinners :)  I just don't want someone to say "you can't attend this church" or hopefully one day in the not too distant future, "your children cannot attend this school."  Because ultimately, God is love and forgiveness.




I think the only way things are going to change is as people realize more and more of their really normal friends who love God just happen to be gay as well.  In a sense, there is a burden to be standardbearers, as one guy put it. 


Keep up the good work!  :)

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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5 years ago  ::  May 30, 2009 - 12:48PM #6
Galtlovesgod
Posts: 17

thanks :)

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