It's Christmas! The season when we celebrate with astonishment the gift of God; the ultimate generosity of the God who became human and experienced the worst and the best of humanity and inhumanity. Why? So that we might have the chance to discover what it means to be part of the household, the family of God.
And so this weekend most of us will be gathering in families and households to celebrate God's gift by giving gifts and to resonate with God's love as we express our love for one another. Many of us will be gathering for worship in churches where we feel loved and accepted, communities where our gifts are celebrated and our loves are cherished.
But not ALL of us.
There are those who are not welcome to come home. Those who are alone, abandoned by loved ones. Those who do not know a loving, nurturing faith community. Those for whom there is no room at the inn.
Our hearts go out to them.
Let us make a commitment this Christmas not to stop until the Episcopal Church truly welcomes everyone who comes seeking God, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender expression. Even one person who experiences TEC as unwelcoming is one too many.
May the God of welcome warm your heart and your hearth this Christmas. If you find yourself outside the inn, may you meet the One who was also unwelcome, and may your heart be strangely warmed. If you find yourself in a family or household may God bless you with eyes to see those who long to be invited in.
The. Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall
St Benedict's, Los Osos
President, Integrity USA