The Difference Between A Welcoming vs. Affirming Church
It is important to distinguish between a congregation that values numerical growth and one in which all members are welcomed and loved for exactly who they are.
People desire to be accepted and welcomed into a spiritual community that embraces them unconditionally. I witnessed the pain and suffering of people who wanted to belong but were rejected by religious communities due to their sexual or gender identity.
A church that says they are welcoming does not mean they see LGBTQIA+ members and their families or allies as equal to other church members.
Knowing the difference between a welcoming and an affirming church can help you find a safe and sacred community that loves you for who you are.
This is why the distinction between welcoming and affirming churches is essential. A church that calls itself "welcoming" does not necessarily mean it sees all members of its congregation as equals within its community. They will say things like, "We welcome everyone," instead of saying, "We accept and affirm everyone." Saying that you accept and affirm someone means that you do not expect them to change their authenticity for them to be embraced by your community. Welcoming someone inside should mean the same, but unfortunately, in the church setting, it simply means you're welcome to fill a seat and tithe.
An affirming church embraces LGBTQ+ people and their families and friends. In an affirming church, all people are welcome regardless of the color of their skin, where they were born, who they love or what they believe. You won't find judgment or condemnation there; instead, you will receive love and support from those around you. The message of an affirming church centers on acceptance and love for everyone. The LGBTQ+ and their allies aren't considered unworthy. This can help make your spiritual journey feel more inclusive and safe for anyone rejected by other denominations or churches due to their sexuality or gender identity.
The importance of finding your spiritual community
Finding an affirming church may be an important part of your spiritual journey. But being churched is not a requirement to have a vibrant and sacred spiritual community. If you're looking for a spiritual-not-religious community where you can ask questions, be embraced, and connect with others on a similar path, a church may not hold the community you are searching for; you may find that they don't have what you need. My Patreon community, Numa Soul, is a spiritual-not-religious membership committed to being a safe and sacred space for spiritual-not-religious people, meaning we're not affiliated with any specific religion or belief system. We provide many opportunities for members to connect through community events, workshops, speakers, and we are constantly adding to the benefits in each tier.
Inside Numa Soul's Spiritual Membership, you will find a safe and sacred place to heal, learn, and connect with individuals on a similar journey. I strive to make this community a space where you are heard, loved, inspired, and affirmed.
If you'd like more information about Numa Soul or our membership program, please visit https://numasoul.com/community/ or reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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