Written by Rev. Jane Siebert
Sometimes we just have to speak up and speak out. We cannot stand by, and watch people being hurt or ostracized or put down by the church in the name of God. This is our God, too, and our God loves every lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, non-binary, gender non-conforming, aromantic, asexual, queer, plus person, just the same as our God loves me, wherever I fall on the spectrum.
We can no longer let other Christians speak for us and if we’re silent that is what happens. It is easy to get grouped with those that speak the loudest, those that think they have a direct link to the authority of scripture and think they have it all figured out.
We may be left sometimes with uncomfortable questions as we are trying to make sense of this world and find our place in it. I remember in seminary asking God, “Why didn’t you just make your Word simple to understand?” But no, the paradoxes abound in God’s Word and in our lives. The Bible is true and yet not factual. It has been run through the wringer as people have interpreted and
translated the words through their human lens. It still is and ever will be.
Our God leaves us in freedom to “eat the scroll”, chew on it, digest it, spit some back out for another day. And treasure what we do find as God opens the truth that feeds our soul and makes us want to come back for more because it is all seasoned with God’s love. If we search with love in our hearts for all God’s people, we find God’s Word is one of inclusion and acceptance for all our searching questioning neighbors. And that’s the greatest commandment offered in all religions, to love one another as our God loves us.
This is why the LGBTQ+ Committee (now the Rainbow Committee) brought forth the Standing Resolution of the Swedenborgian Church of North America at our annual convention in June of 2022. And it was resoundingly approved by the members present.
We spoke up and stood up to Welcome and Support All People in the LGBTQ+ Community into our Churches and into our Hearts.
Please find our Standing Resolution on Welcome and Support of LGBTQ+ Community below and all our Denomination Statements here.
Meet Rev. Jane Siebert
Rev. Jane Siebert is a minister and former president of the Swedenborgian Church of North America.
Welcome and Support of All People in the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus*) Community
The Swedenborgian Church of North America (SCNA) publicly declares itself to be LGBTQ+ Embracing. The SCNA encourages all its constituent bodies to become LGBTQ+ Embracing.
As an LGBTQ+ Embracing organization, the SCNA recognizes that the LGBTQ+ community, in particular those of color, continue to experience prejudice, discrimination, and condemnation at the hands of many religious institutions. The SCNA will clearly and publicly make known their welcome of all LGBTQ+ people, will advocate in the public sphere for their rights, and will educate themselves on the care and pastoring of people in the LGBTQ+ community. We welcome LGBTQ+ seekers and support their identities and loving relationships. All rites and sacraments of the SCNA are available to LGBTQ+ people including, baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage, consecration as a licensed pastor, ordination, and services of remembrance and resurrection.
The SCNA understands the message of love and inclusion taught to us through the Bible and insights of Emanuel Swedenborg to affirm diversity in all its exciting complexity, offering equal value and worth to all people with a variety of God given gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and loving relationships. The SCNA will seek to interpret the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg in ways that honor the equal value and worth of all sexual orientations, genders, gender identities, and gender expressions. We will support everyone who is engaged in the regenerative journey—individual or partnered. We affirm any partnered relationships that are entered into freely, are grounded in mutual fidelity and respect, and have as their end the well-being and spiritual growth of each partner. We acknowledge that living in truly loving and wise ways is possible for finite and fallible human beings only with the Lord’s leading.
As our understanding of this continues to unfold, the SCNA is dedicated to educating itself and others. The SCNA respects the judgment of those who make decisions for its constituent bodies and lends its support to them as they discern whether to become LGBTQ+ Embracing and will offer resources and guidance to facilitate the process.
* (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus—including: intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, non-binary, gender non-conforming, aromantic, and asexual).