Flatirons steps up – gays welcome to serve

Today I had a meeting with Jim Burgen, the head pastor at Flatirons Community Church. The meeting was to discuss and answer the question: Are gay individuals allowed to serve at Flatirons?

The answer, in short, is yes.

The answer, in greater length, is still yes :) Flatirons is committed to being a welcoming church to everyone who is searching for God’s will for their lives. Note that it isn’t a “we’re welcoming until we find out who you are” church, but a “come as you are, together we’ll search for God’s will for our lives” church. While Jim and I disagree with some what the Bible says about homosexuality, that doesn’t prevent us from worshiping and learning together. Moreover, the important factor is that Flatirons “isn’t going to cherry pick the ‘top 5 sins’ and use those as a guide on who can serve and who can’t”, to paraphrase a segment of the conversation. Jim’s message last week (MP3 of message) is particularly relevant as well – I’m sorry I missed it in person.

Here’s a to-the-point FAQ regarding gays at Flatirons based on my conversation with Jim:

  • Are gay people welcome in the church? Yes.
  • Are gay people free to be themselves in the church? Yes.
  • Can I be open about my partner/husband/significant other at church? Yes.
  • You mean I’m free to introduce my partner/husband/significant other as such to individuals in the church? Yes.
  • Am I allowed to serve? Yes, if you are otherwise qualified. (eg: no luddites in the sound booth, interpreters must be able to interpret, etc)
  • Does Flatirons support the “gay lifestyle” and gay marriage? No, and probably not.
  • Is Flatirons gay friendly? By my definition, yes.
  • Is Flatirons gay affirming? By my definition, no. (and I’m perfectly OK with that )

Overall I felt very good about the conversation and the outcome. It was everything that I had hoped for. The fact that Jim took time out of his crazy schedule to meet with me conveys to me how important it was to him that Flatirons be a welcoming, inclusive church.

I look forward to getting involved with the Deaf ministry, barring transportation issues, and continuing to meet and get to know other Flatironers.

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

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