As the Elders of Paradox, we are charged to protect the spiritual life of our church.
This responsibility compels us to make a statement of full affirmation of all persons who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ communities.
We came to this conclusion after several years of extended study in the Holy Bible, sustained prayer asking for God’s guidance, and growing in relationship as a church body.
Therefore, may everyone who comes into contact with us know that we here at Paradox…
...live with the conviction that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Divine.
...welcome people across the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity to serve in every capacity of our church and to participate in the holy sacraments of baptism and communion. We do this because we believe the queer perspective is vital for a fuller experience of Divine love and community.
...ordain our pastors and hire church staff with full appreciation of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and the perspective they bring to the ministry of the Gospel.
…provide a safe environment for people to question and explore their gender identity and sexual orientation.
...celebrate the love between people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. For all who choose, our pastors will happily officiate the holy sacrament of marriage.
...embrace children raised by parents of all sexual orientations and gender identities and celebrate queer families through the holy sacrament of dedication.
… educate all children and youth about the queer experience with the understanding that some may be queer themselves. We respect queer children and youth and trust in their self-knowledge of their identity.
… recognize the historic and on-going violence of the Christian church towards the queer community through queerphobic theology and practices. The church bears the responsibility to acknowledge these abuses and to create an environment where people feel free to celebrate their full identities without fear.
… will not tolerate queerphobic language, actions, or theological teachings, and we commit to naming this behavior when it occurs. We will work as a community to grow in our use of inclusive language and to respect an individual’s name and pronouns as this is crucial to creating a supportive environment for queer members of the community.
… believe that God encompasses the full spectrum of gender. To honor the gender expansiveness of God, we will use a variety of pronouns (including he/she/they) and metaphors when we describe the Divine.
… hold space for diversity and intersectionality in the queer experience, recognizing that multiple factors such as race, gender, ability, and class inform the queer experience and contribute to various degrees of oppression and inequality that the queer community faces.
We say and commit to all of these things in order to bring glory and honor to God, to love others as we love ourselves, and to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul.
The Elders of Paradox Church
Pastor Craig sat down with Donavan and Iki on the Urban Prophets Podcast to discuss how the LGBTQIA Affirmation and Celebration Statement came into being at Paradox Church.
Pictured to the left: Riki and Canda's beautiful wedding in 2019.