Visit our Indiegogo page to give in support of our annual retreat that benefits this future LGBTQ pastor and others. What does it feel like to be alone? At my seminary, I am the only Presbyterian in my class. Of all the Presbyterians at the school I am one of two that identify as LGBTQ. Add work, internships, friends, significant others, and ordination work to the already heavy course load, and I rarely see my fellow queer Presby. A lot of the time, it feels like no one knows what I'm going through. I have questions about the ordination process and what I might face as a queer person, but no one at school has answers because, well, how could they? I vent to friends about my frustrations, and they listen, but they don't understand-not really. I even talk to my church back home, hoping for insight about how my Presbytery is going to handle me, but they know about as much as I do-nothing. I'm on my journey, called by God, walking the path alone.
Except, of course, for the fact that I am wrong. I am so wrong. I am not on this path alone. There are others, all over the country, at various other seminaries, who are going through exactly what I am going through. There are people who can not only answer my questions, but ask their own which I can help sort out. My frustrations and fears? They get it! Stories about how presbyteries have dealt with LGBTQ candidates? Not only do they have them, they've lived them. They're living them. They have experiences to share and want me to share mine and, had it not been for Presbyterian Welcome, I would have never met them. It was at their retreat last year that I was, for the first time, surrounded by people in my very situation. Under God's great sun and moon we came together, we sang together, we learned to stand up and tell our stories. We got to see what journeys other LGBTQ Presbyterians were on and, more importantly, we all got to share a moment of that walk and become a part of each others' stories. After an experience like that, we cannot be alone.
At the end of the day, I plan on going into youth ministry. My hope is to teach young believers that, no matter who they are or who they love, they, too, can receive and be vessels for Christ's love. I hope to inspire the next generation of Christians, perhaps even the next generation of ministers, but I can only do that because someone is inspiring me now. Through these retreats, Presbyterian Welcome is helping raise and mold the current generation of pastors and candidates, giving us the tools and connections and support we need to witness to God's world. Thanks to this retreat, I, and many others, are strengthened to help build a church in which no one is alone.