Target: United Church of Canada
Goal: Applaud the election of openly gay Reverend Gary Peterson as official moderator
The United Church of Canada, Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, recently made history by electing the openly gay Reverend Gary Peterson as church moderator. As moderator, Rev. Peterson will act as the church’s presiding officer and principal spokesperson. This makes him the first openly gay person to ever lead a major Christian denomination in Canada or elsewhere.
The United Church of Canada has long been a supporter of the inclusion of LGBTQ people in church membership and leadership. In 1988, it became the first church in Canada to allow openly gay and lesbian clergy to be ordained, with the Church’s General Council making a statement that anyone who believed in Jesus Christ should be eligible to become a member regardless of their sexual orientation. Peterson himself has been an ordained minister for 35 years, 30 of which he’s spent married to fellow church member Tim Stevenson, who became the church’s first openly gay minister in 1992. Following his election, he said he looked forward to the possibility of serving as a role model for gay and lesbian youth still struggling with their orientation, as well as stating that he was encouraged by the extent to which his sexual orientation had been a non-issue during the campaign.
Congratulate the United Church of Canada on this historic event and thank them for their continued support of equality for LGBTQ people both within and outside of the church.
Dear United Church of Canada,
I am writing in response to your recent monumental decision to elect Reverend Gary Peterson as your first openly gay moderator, making him the first openly gay leader of a large Christian denomination in history. The discrimination and hatred broadcast by many in the Christian community towards those in the LGBTQ community can be not only hurtful but potentially damaging for those who identify in both categories, youth in particular. I have no doubt that Rev. Peterson will serve as a shining example for the many young people who are still struggling to reconcile their religion with what they are discovering to be their sexual orientation. This historic decision sends a message of hope to people all over that one day, the rift between the Christian church and the LGBTQ community may be healed, and love, rather than hate, may be spread to those who need it the most.
I would like to wish you congratulations on your decision and many thanks for your continued support of LGBTQ people both in and out of the church. It is my hope that many more such appointments will be made in the future.
[Your Name Here]
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