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Religion blog: Thirteen and counting…

On March 15, 2011, our little contribution to theological chaos will be 13-years-old, and the last five of those years, we've made an intentional choice to worship outside.

It was this choice that moved us from a “gay-centric” church to a church that lives on the edge with all those who find themselves there, as well. Of course, the population of those who live on the edge of society has far more folks than LGBTQIA members; yet, it has been interesting that even though we no longer see ourselves as a “gay church” the community label has stuck.

As we literally have become a “Church Without Walls,” this has been met with smiles, rolling of eyes and about 95% of the time an exclamation of “really!?” This is usually followed by, “What do you do when it rains?”

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‘Church Without Walls’ celebrates milestone

Gentle Spirit Christian Church, the “Church Without Walls” led by Rev. Paul Turner, will celebrate its 13th anniversary at noon on Sunday, March 13 with a picnic in Chandler Park.

The LGBT-friendly church was founded in 1998 and began meeting in Chandler Park (1500 McLendon Avenue NE, Atlanta) on Sundays in 2006.

“The Gentle Spirit congregation of today looks a little different from the one of 13 years ago,” said Turner, founding and senior pastor. “We started the church to offer a home to Christians who felt left out of the mainline churches, and as we’ve explored what it means to extend God’s welcome to everyone, we’ve become a truly diverse congregation with members from all walks of life.”

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Guest Editorial: A spiritual call for LGBT unity

We know the LGBTQIA community has made a great deal of progress over the past 40 years. This progress has come because the community as a whole has stepped far out of the closet into the every day world.

There is no place one can go and not find well-adjusted and successful folk. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is about to become a thing of the past. More states are granting rights to same-sex couples. The national polls show we are making great strides to become an accepted part of society.

The more we are honest about who we are and who we love, the more true is Rev. Troy Perry’s proclamation of 30 years ago: “To know us is to love us!”

In every major faith there are affirming congregations who stand proudly for and with us as a whole people of God. We participate in many sports and excel right next to our straight sisters and brothers. We even run for public office and win.