When asked if they are inclusive and affirming to LGBTQIA+ individuals, couples, and families, too many churches refuse to give a clear answer. This section of our site should answer any questions you might have, both practical and spiritual, about Christ Church Cathedral’s beliefs about LGBTQ inclusion in the church. But it will start with the most important one…
Yes! We believe that everyone is a beloved child of God, deserving of dignity and respect. Everyone is welcome and included in our church because we believe that the Kingdom of God contains a vast multitude and diversity of persons, identities, and orientations. LGBTQIA+ individuals and families are welcomed into the full sacramental life and worship of the church and encouraged to participate in leadership, ministry, and service at all levels.
Yes! As Episcopalians, we believe that the church’s sacraments are gifts from God and a means of grace. This means that the benefit of and participation in the sacraments is up to God and the traditions of God’s Church. This means that LGBTQIA+ people are treated in the same way regarding the sacraments as anyone else. Part of our tradition means that some sacraments have traditional requirements before they can be participated in; others have teaching components in place by the church to help people understand the sacraments more. However, these requirements are equal across the board, regardless of gender, orientation, or marital status. The requirements include, but are not limited to:
BAPTISM – At least one parent & one godparent must be baptized. If you wish to have your child baptized but are not baptized, both parents & children may be baptized at the same time. We recognize that it may be difficult to select a godparent for your child if you are new to the Christian faith or new to our tradition, or if you don’t have supportive family and friends. We are honored to connect you to a seasoned member of our parish to serve as a godparent for you/your child if that is the case.
COMMUNION – All baptized Christians (any tradition) may participate in Communion.
MARRIAGE – Marriage is open to all legally marriable adults, including LGBTQ+ couples. There may be further requirements if either person seeking marriage is previously divorced (proof of divorce decree and bishop’s permission required by canon law). All couples must complete pre-marital counseling with our priest, or alternatively with a mental health professional of their choice.
OTHER RITES (Confession, Unction, Confirmation, Ordination) – All of these sacraments are open to all LGBTQIA+ people in the church after fulfilling various requirements set forth by the church, diocese, or denomination. The requirements of LGBTQIA+ people are the same as those outside of the LGBTQIA+community.
We affirm the gifts, presence, and leadership LGBTQIA+ people bring to the church and Kingdom of God. We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ radically includes everyone into the saving work of God, not by our faithfulness or obedience, but by Christ’s. By and through his perfect life, death, and resurrection, Jesus Christ fulfilled God’s plan of salvation for the whole world, perfectly fulfilling the law, and setting those whom he calls free to love God and love their neighbor. In this calling, Jesus offers to all the forgiveness of their sins, eternal salvation, justification before God, and the promise of sanctification through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And yet, it also means so much more. For Christians, the Gospel of Christ eases all distinction and hierarchy among people. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians (3:23-27): “Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore, the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.”
In Christ Jesus, we have all become children of God, given the righteousness of Christ, and are being transformed ever more into the likeness of Christ by the inspiration and work of the Holy Spirit. This means that EVERYONE is included in the church!