I Know Families Like Zach’s. They Bless Me.

I know this will sound like bragging, but I know kids like Zach.
I know mothers like Zach’s mothers.

God blesses us by bringing them to us as members of the Northaven community.
(Sometimes as full members. Sometimes as “friends”)

Being a family is hard work. It takes the love and support of many. That “many” ought to include a loving church community. Most people understand that the support of a church community is one of the things that ever makes “family” possible –for any of us, gay or straight– in the first place.

I’m proud that Northaven members take their calling to love and care for children and families very seriously. I’m proud of the many traditional and LGBT families that feel called to live together in community in our church. I’m proud that we’ve placed an emphasis on ministries with children, youth, and families, and that we’re able to model what the church can be. (Anywhere, really)

I am pleased when we can be a blessing to LGBT families in our community.
(more below)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Zach Wahls
www.thedailyshow.com
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Given the lack of progress at General Conference, I can only hope and pray these families I know, who have found Northaven over the years, stay around now.

Frankly, every single year after General Conference, some leave. Entire families read the headlines, see the lack of change, and decide that, despite the love they feel at our particular church, they cannot support a denomination that does not fully support their family.

Others do not announce they are leaving, but just slip away quietly, never telling a soul. We just stop seeing their faces; the faces of their children.

So, tonight I continue to pray that one day our denomination can come to fully know the grace and blessing of families like Zach’s too, and to know the blessing that they can be to any church.

Because, the truth is, as a denomination?

The loss is ours.

As always, if you like this post, then “share it” or “like” it on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too…)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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