(LPC) has a long history of welcoming and serving LGBTQ community members.
In May, 2015 the Session (governing body of LPC) agreed to extend membership in LPC to individuals regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The session then adopted Strong’s Liturgical Resources as its tool for worship, which contains inclusive prayers for LGBTQ people and their loved ones. And most recently, on October 24th, 2016, during the quarterly business meeting the Session unanimously passed a resolution that commits “to be fully inclusive in our covenant agreements with individual church members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), including allowing them to marry legally within Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).”
This is only one small step of supporting LGBTQ members and their relationships. Over the next year, we will be working on a special committee to create guidelines for how LPC can fully welcome and include all of God’s children in our church body. This is not something we take lightly; it involves learning more about the experiences and struggles of LGBTQ people (and their families), learning best practices from other Presbyterian churches, revisiting existing policies that may need updating, understanding how gender identity overlaps with racial diversity within our church body, and reaching out to apologize for any harm that has been done by some Christians to LGBT individuals in years past. It also requires us to look at ourselves through the eyes of others who might see us as unwelcoming or even hateful toward them.
Clergy and Session of LPC pledge to become educated, informed and engaged on matters related to LGBTQ people. We are also committed to working with our members in creating a safe space within our congregation for ALL children of God regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. One way that we will be doing this is by providing online resources for those who want to learn more about various aspects of the LGBTQ community. Another way is through continuing education for all clergy members on issues related to Human Sexuality, including LGBTQ issues from different faith perspectives/traditions. In addition, we have invited Rehoboth Presbyterian Church (a PCUSA congregation in Glen Allen, VA) as a companion church relationship because they have been long-time advocates for full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church.