Are you seeking a spiritual home?
Have you been discouraged by churches who exclude and discriminate against you or a loved one?
Do you long for a faith community where you are accepted—embraced, even—just as you are?
I hear you. And I understand.
My name is David Weekley.
I have felt shut out, discouraged, unloved, and unwelcome by the church. I know what that’s like.
Because of my gender identity, I lived through many years of loneliness and deep unhappiness. Those were years I stayed away from the church. Not because I didn’t believe in God. My faith in God and the Jesus I discovered in the gospels was the only reason I survived that time. I stayed away from church because the church, for a transgender person, was a place of rejection and condemnation.
But God’s love is for everyone.
God has always loved me. Just as I am. Even during the darkest years of my life – when I didn’t accept and love myself – I knew God loved me. And I know God loves you too. Just as you are.
That’s why all people are welcome in this community of faith—including you.
At Sherman’s Wilderness, we embrace people of every gender age, race, color, spiritual tradition, national origin, citizenship status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, or … well, pick any label the world likes to assign people. We embrace you. Just as you are.
That’s also why I’ve long worked for Christian unity in my own denomination.
For decades I’ve challenged the United Methodist Church (UMC) to end their official discriminatory policies toward lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and queer (LGBTQ) people. I’ve written legislation, curriculum, and articles. I’ve spoken at conferences and in the media, worked with local congregations and in national programs. At the next UMC General Conference delegates will decide whether or not to exclude transgender people from serving (or in my case, continuing to serve) as UMC clergy. I’ll be working on that a great deal until the vote in April 2012.
And I’m going to go on working to create spiritual communities that reflect God’s love for all people.
Communities like this one, which we plan to build into a thriving, online resource for people seeking safe, supportive, inclusive spiritual fellowship.
I invite you to join us.
- If you are looking for a spiritual guidance or need pastoral care, e-mail me.
- If you are interested in creating a more welcoming UMC, please support our efforts by following my blog and social media, sharing information with others, and asking your General Conference delegate to support inclusive legislation.
Reverend David Weekley
P.S. Keep watching ShermansWilderness.org. We have some exciting developments planned.