We object to the suggestion in a recent letter that a non-heterosexual identity is incompatible with Christianity. We have not heard that espoused at our church, North Yarmouth Congregational Church. The message we have received – one we believe entirely consistent with Christ’s teachings – is that love and kindness are the primary virtues to which we all should strive. We expect anyone attending to be warmly received and blessed as they are, regardless of ethnic identity, marital status, income level, time spent in town, and, yes, sexual identity. Our church is a welcoming place; if we thought it wasn’t, we would not be members there. No one should have to reject their identity or their loved-ones to receive God’s blessings.
The congregational tradition is to eschew any requirement of members to express loyalty to any specific doctrine, other than a belief that Jesus came to this world to help us improve our lives, died to forgive us our sins and was resurrected to help us see the promise in his example. We worship together as friends and strangers, conservatives and liberals, brothers and sisters. Although there are places of worship less willing to embrace or tolerate differences, ours is not one of them. We instead focus our collective efforts on providing financial assistance and other support for those in need, offering a creative and values-based Sunday School for our children, and sharing the good news of Jesus’ love for all human beings.
Kristi Wright & Patrick Strawbridge