Fresno has another welcoming and inclusive worship community to serve GLBTQ+ people of faith. I’m happy and proud to report that Hope Lutheran Church on the corner of Barstow and Fresno voted last week to declare themselves a “Reconciling in Christ [their version of Open and Affirming] congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)”. I’m so excited that another church has joined the ranks of real religion and true spirituality by welcoming EVERYONE to worship in spirit and truth. This is their vision statement as posted on their website:
Hope is a family of faith empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to know Jesus Christ through the Word and sacraments and sharing God’s gifts and love with hope and joy in the world.
To the best of my knowledge there are 5 gay friendly churches in Fresno: The Big Red Church near the Tower District, Community UCC on Fresno St, Unitarian Universalist of Fresno, Wesley United Methodist Church on Barstow, and now Hope Lutheran. These are hugely significant decisions for these congregations and they all need our prayerful support. The St. Paul Catholic Newman Center used to have a groundbreaking and dedicated LGBTQ Ministry program but that was disbanded last month. I know many gay people of faith who attend and openly serve in leadership positions at St. Therese but that is an off the book thing as it’s not an official published policy of the church.
If you are looking for a place to worship these churches would be great place to start. Hat tip for this blog goes to Pastor Ara at Community United Church of Christ. If you would like to check out the website of Hope Lutheran Church you may do so after the jump.