Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
I want to make sure you know that the people I addressed in yesterday’s open letter (here) are really a minority. Most of you have been very gracious and compassionate with me.
And I hear some things through the grapevine about you too…
I know that many of you have not had any contact with me mostly because you are (a) not sure if I would be interested in talking, and (b) you aren’t really sure what to say.
I also know that many of you are working through your anger, mourning, disappointment, and a whole host of other emotions. I understand and respect that — and I know that it will take a lot of time to work through all of the issues…. more time for some than for others.
Many of you have expressed to me your forgiveness and your support as friends. You have no idea how much that means to me.
Just so you know… I would love to reconnect and talk… when you are ready… and if you don’t want to talk, we can just get coffee. But while it may be a little awkward, I trust that Jesus will lead us through it.
I will never be pastor at the church again. And I will not even be a member or in any leadership role either. My deep hope is simply to be able to worship there. You are my spiritual family and I love and miss you all.
But before that happens, there needs to be some relational reconciliation — and that happens one person at a time and only through intentionally connecting. And let me add this… even if I never am welcome to worship again as part of the community, relational reconciliation will continue to be a priority for me — because I believe it is both Jesus’ heart for his children and His command to his disciples.
So if and when you are ever ready for that, I want you to now I am willing and available.
I also want you to know that I don’t think you (or the church) are bad people or homophobic or anything else. I know this whole situation is my fault and that all of you were thrust unfairly into the midst of my mess… and for that I will always be more sorry than you can know.
Anyway… I just wanted to publicly address you… and also publicly point out that the group addressed in the last “open letter” are not the norm and people shouldn’t think otherwise.
Know you are in my prayers daily…