But as for me, O Lord, I cry to you for help;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why have you rejected me?
why have you hidden your face from me?
Today is the day of the Gay Pride march in Hudson, the very small, largely liberal, city where I live. I am reminded of the many LGBTQ people for whom these verses are a daily lament, as they once were for me. They are rejected by their churches and told that they are sinners and deviants. They are made to feel unloved and unwanted. Many are battered, some in body, many in mind and in spirit by the people who support and nurture their straight peers. To those, my LGBTQ sisters and brothers, I say, though some churches may reject you, God loves you the way God made you, I love you and many people of faith love you and want you to feel loved and happy and whole. The Episcopal Church welcomes us all, but full inclusion in every diocese has not yet been achieved and is the only way to put the oppression of LGBTQ people to an end. Full inclusion means freedom to marry in the church and freedom to serve the church in every capacity, both lay and ordained.