Posts by Bernard Schlager

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52 Ways #48: Integrate LGBTQ People into the Life of Your Congregation

by Bernard Schlager

Once a congregation has publicly declared its welcome, it needs to work toward including and integrating queer people more fully in all aspects of congregational life. Since a community of care assumes, accepts, and celebrates the presence of queer people within its midst, the day-to-day life of the congregation should reflect this. Renovating congregational life […]

52 Ways #47: A Genuine Welcome is a Transforming Welcome

by Bernard Schlager

By genuinely welcoming and integrating LGBTQ people into a congregation all members can experience transformation. When individuals who once were unwelcome and perhaps even unnamed are brought into a community of faith, new perspectives are gained on what it means to live as people of faith. When individuals who have been marginalized for so long […]

52 Ways #46: A Genuine Welcome is a Stated Welcome

by Bernard Schlager

LGBTQ people understand from years of experience that they are unwelcome in most congregations. Since our culture is saturated with the anti-queer rhetoric of religious leaders who claim to represent the only authentic Jewish and Christian positions on homosexuality, a congregation that seeks to become welcoming needs to state clearly and publicly its welcome in […]

52 Ways #44: Create a Genuine Welcome for Your LGBTQ Congregants

by Bernard Schlager

Everyone can distinguish a genuine welcome from one that is half-hearted and it is not difficult for LGBTQ people to realize whether they are welcomed or not in a particular congregation. Merely posting a welcome sign or publishing a statement of acceptance does not prove, of course, that a congregation is actually welcoming and inclusive. […]

52 Ways #43: Create a Community of Care for Your LGBTQ Congregants I: What is Welcome?

by Bernard Schlager

Baptist minister Jacki Belile recommends a three-fold task for congregations seeking to welcome LGBTQ people: “Take into account the depth of people’s betrayal and pain at the hands of the institutional church in all the dimensions of fellowship, preaching, teaching, and pastoral care”; Offer “significant opportunities for LGBT people to have visibility, voice and leadership […]

52 Ways #39: Support Banned and Challenged Books

by Bernard Schlager

If you visit American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 and 2020, you will notice that a large percentage of them were targeted because they include positive portrayals of LGBTQ people.  When these books are removed or not included in libraries—particularly public and school libraries—people lose access to useful and affirming information […]

52 Ways #38: Highlight LGBTQ Religious History

by Bernard Schlager

Any time of the year is a good time to talk about the fact that religious people have been advocating for LGBTQ inclusion for quite a while and, as we approach June, the month of LGBTQ Pride, now offers you a great opportunity to investigate the movement for LGBTQ equality within your tradition. You can […]