“Open to all and closed to none” is the top answer I get when I ask our Youth what they like best about our church.

This stood out to me at the recent Union County Pride Festival. Cindy and I were working in the Myers Park Baptist booth when a young father made a bee line for us. He looked a little worried as he asked us to tell him about Myers Park Baptist. As we started explaining who we were and why we were at Pride, his demeanor changed from defensive to relieved. He explained to us that his 13-year-old daughter did not feel welcome at the churches in his area, and he was desperately looking for an inclusive church. I shared that our youth group would welcome his daughter with open arms, and there are all types of kids at our church, and all types of families. I told him that we were 40 minutes away and he responded that he would drive as many hours as it took to take his daughter to a church that would welcome her. He and I both got tears in our eyes as we talked, and I could feel his relief in knowing there is a church where his family will be accepted and included, not because of any differences, but because they are beloved children in God’s kindom. As usual, it turns out our Youth have it right. “Open to all and closed to none” is what I like most about our church also!

Tags: pride, welcoming, inclusivity, lgbtq+

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