I heard a story yesterday. The story was told about an adult child by their parent. The parent is someone who has been a committed and faithful servant of the Methodist church for many years. The child was described by their parent as 'a deeply committed Christian'.
The gist of the story is that this adult child recently felt that they 'had to leave' their church - a British Methodist church - because they revealed themself to be homosexual.
This is the second such story I've heard. The first one was on the internet and I'm not going to point to the story as I'm aware that people sometimes post on forums thinking that the forums are relatively 'safe' and they aren't expecting wider publiclity on blogs. Readers can accuse me of lying if you want to for not providing a link.
What's my point for saying this? I'm deeply saddened by the knowledge that gay people feel that they have to leave our churches. My understanding was that, as a denomination, we were working toward taking the position that all people were welcome in our church, whatever their views on homosexuality. My understanding was that we were trying to accommodate people of all views as being valued in our churches.
I frequently hear people on the internet who say 'I believe that homosexual acts are sinful but, of course, we would welcome gay people in our church.' Well, here are two stories of the reality of the situation and I'm saddened by it. I have to confess that I do sometimes wonder how on earth gay people are going to feel welcome in our churches unless we make a clear statement that they are welcome and - most importantly - that we can 'deliver' on the hospitality.
 I am using the plural pronouns 'they' and 'their' as a gender neutral pronoun to denote 'he or she'.