VC offers heartfelt welcome, hospitality, inclusion, and humble accommodation to the LGBT community. The church also holds a traditionally orthodox ethic and theology regarding marriage, sexuality, and gender. That means that everyone is welcome, and everyone will feel a gospel challenge.
While Vineyard Columbus is not considered ‘open and affirming’, we do make every effort to be 'welcoming and including’. Our prayer is for Vineyard Columbus to be a community where everyone has a safe space for exploring the Christian faith and for following Christ… no matter what. Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or identity is welcomed into community, including: worship, baptism, communion, membership, baby dedication, and volunteering in ministry through Vineyard Columbus. Many who identify as LGBT have found love, support, and comfort as they follow Christ in our community.
We repent of the terrible homophobia which has marked the attitudes of too many of us who call ourselves Christian toward those who are gay or identify with the LGBTQ+ community, and we call our fellow Christians to do the same.
We make every effort to have a humble and self-aware posture, knowing that far too many LGBT people have been damaged through relationships to the Church. We do not practice any sort of reparative therapy (we do not attempt to ‘change’ someone’s orientation) and our pastors and counselors are regularly in conversation with individuals and families as they navigate questions about gender and sexuality in tender, healthy, and grace-filled ways.
While anyone, regardless of orientation or identity, is welcome into membership, Vineyard churches (including Vineyard Columbus) hold a traditional theology and practice regarding marriage (our pastors do not officiate at same-sex weddings) and leadership (our lay leaders and pastors commit to practicing a traditional sexual ethic).
Our convictions will lead to uncomfortable tensions for many, though we believe these tensions are inherent to the unity in diversity that marks those who belong to Christ and the Christian community. Our position means that someone who is fully open and affirming will feel tension at Vineyard Columbus when it comes to leadership involvement and marriage. In the same way, someone who rejects that our LGBT sisters and brothers should be welcome, wanted, and loved, will feel the tension to move toward understanding, acceptance, and love. We strive for Vineyard to be a community that can hold tensions, sometimes disagree, but always treat one another as beloved children of God.
If you are curious to hear more about how we’ve talked about gender and sexuality in the recent past, these might interest you:
- podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-in-between/id1498252831?i=1000511737106 (with Dr. Wes Hill)
- podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-in-between/id1498252831?i=1000495096841 (with author and advocate, Justin Lee)
- www.spreaker.com/episode/47586975 (with Dr. Julia Sadusky)
- Sermon: Who Am I and What am I Here for? (Julia Pickerill)