Religious Discrimination Towards the LGBTQ Community
How It Started
Lunch with the Pastor’s and Mansfield Pride started in the Fall of 2018. After being invited to participate in to participate in the original Lunch with the Pastor by Pastor James Robinson of Shelby’s First Presbyterian and the First United Church of Christ MGPA President Todd Rice and Pastor Robinson decided to hold a joint luncheon that was held in October of that year.
Attending that first luncheon was Pastor William Humphrey’s from All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Bellville, who wanted to get involved as well. As we approached 2019, we decided to have the luncheon quarterly, at various locations so that we can incorporate neighboring communities.
Faith is a very important part of some peoples lives. Many within the LGBTQ+ Community have felt discriminated by faith-based organizations with regards to health issues, marriage, and acceptance, many within the community have distance themselves from those institutions. Some have been left without a place to practice their religion and have felt alienated from the God they worship because of the person they were born to be.
The reason for the luncheon is to bring both the LGBTQ community and the religious communities together, bridging the gap between the two, with hopes of healing those who need their faith and educate those who are seeking information and guidance. With faith being an important aspect of life, this luncheon provides that place to reconnect and to have fellowship.
In 2020, Lunch with the Pastors & Mansfield Pride will occur every other month, instead of quarterly. With interest among local churches in participating in the lunch we have expanded it with each luncheon being sponsored by a local church.