See two references in local news coverage of this topic.
In this blog, I'd like to copy my own contributions.
7 comments posted to follow-up article:
Jen June 26, 2019 at 11:11 pm
This is a really great article! Southgate is an involve church that is nothing but inclusive. There doesn't need to be a divide in the community.
Samantha Kutowy June 28, 2019 at 12:32 am
Have you read their position statements? Homosexuality-235
How is that inclusive?
Mike Blouin June 28, 2019 at 1:02 am
And why should the community partner with an organization that denies the rights of members in the community?
Phil Irving June 28, 2019 at 8:20 am
Not sure this church actually denies any rights. I worship God at SGCC and my best friend is gay. No-one seeing us together could immediately mark him as gay. Its not like he stands out in some way; he and his partner are discreet and they choose to declare themselves only to those they trust. Building a rink for public good benefits all public members who choose to come. My best friend would be accepted as is if he came to skate, or indeed if he came to worship God with us. (And really we are all sinners before God, it is only through His grace and mercy that we are forgiven and saved.)
Phil Irving June 28, 2019 at 8:32 am
To John Haselmayer's concluding statement (1st letter above), I must say that we (the Out Door Rink team of volunteers) do contribute our time, energy, and efforts in providing ODR as public skating rink for enjoyment of all public. Our rink happens to be located on church property; where else can we build it that does not affect taxes? Who in the municipality is also willing to work with us on volunteer basis to maintain the ice, regardless of where it is located? This is truly a two way street. All citizens of municipality should find ways of working together toward common good.
Mike Blouin June 28, 2019 at 9:20 am
Based on the Wesleyan position statement regarding homosexuality one group here is denying basic civil and human rights and one is being asked to accept that denial. That is very much a one way street.
Tina June 28, 2019 at 10:08 am
So you are asking lgbtq people to be tolerant of intolerance!?
You do realize that the foundation of pride and its parade is political right!? Pride arose out of a need to rise up against intolerance and violence to our community. Now you ask us to be tolerant for the sake of "all". I'm sorry sir but that's not how tolerance works. You should be asking the Southgate church to publicly denoubce the aspect of their faith that makes it homophobic. Not asking Holly for an apology. Shame!
Further thoughts... As an adherent (not a member), I agree that God judges the quick and the dead; it is not up to us (humans) to make judgments. We are called to love all people, being tolerant of all who sin... which includes each one of us. All people are sinners; only God through His grace and mercy can forgive and save us. God doesn't call the perfect; He perfects the called (at least, those who answer).
IMHO, Southgate is practicing "inclusivity" by being welcoming to all who choose to come. If you feel you will be persecuted, or you choose to act in ways that you feel will engender persecution, that is essentially your problem.
Canada is about multi-culturalism. People of different cultures work together to get along. Yes, I realize LGBTQ Pride is a political movement, and perhaps a culture in its own right. I disagree that people of one culture have to apologize to people of another culture, in order to be considered tolerant.
In essence, I believe my culture is correct, and yet it is wrong for me to impose my beliefs on people of other cultures. I may try to approach open-minded people to discuss our differences, but never more than that. Am I being "intolerant"? I don't think so.
As I said above, my best friend is gay. Do I judge him? No! I welcome all people who cross my path, be they First Nations, Hindu, Muslim, ..., or LGBTQ. God is love, and we are called to love like God. I do believe I am being tolerant. What more can I say?