Dani is a Christian, homemaker, and home chef who has survived an overdose, and is diagnosed with BPD, Bipolar, and Hypersomnia.
Being part of the LGBTQIA+ community places us in the "not straight" category and automatically makes finding an accepting church more difficult. A lot of churches still preach that being gay is a sin and that we will all go to hell. Finding a church that preaches love is harder than you think, especially living in a small town.
My whole life I've grown up in a small corn town in Southern Illinois just west of St. Louis, MO. There's a shocking number of churches in this small town, around 20. The town's population? 7,000 but 2,000 of that is the federal minimum security prison's population. Ideas here are rigid and conservative, but as a gay, I don't pick a political party which is shameful to my community because it's a very political community, but frankly, I just want love. If you're a boomer, voted for Trump, but treat me and my partner decent then, fine. I ask for love. Love is stronger than politics, but yes, politics rule this country and make a change.
But, I really don't want a whole lot of politics in my church services. Just preach about love and acceptance. That's all I care about. Again, I know shameful. In fact, as an interracial gay couple in Cornville, IL we actually get around quite well. We get the occasional stares, but most people are honestly just curious and are willing to learn. I'm willing to help them because as a Christ follower, we should all be "teachers of men" (people).
But, getting into the politics of the churches in town, they are very anti-gay, anti-progressivism. So, what do you do? Go elsewhere. My spouse's mother lives in a small residential area next to a city, so we attend Enjoy Church there.
I'm not really looking for acceptance from straight people, frankly, I don't care. I affirm myself and I'm comfortable with me. I don't think there's anything wrong with two people of the same-sex are together. I just want love and love is love. But it is nice to be welcomed by the congregation and treated equally. They view us as people there--treated like human beings.
Finding the Right Church
We found peace, joy, and strength in Enjoy Church. They're a non-denominational church and speak about the holy spirit, the end times, and darkness often. All things I really want to hear. Currently, they've got a unit on How to Find Joy out in time for the Holiday season, which for some can be quite blue.
When we can't make the hour drive for church, we watch online, which there's also recorded YouTube episodes, too, so we will watch one of those or live. We try to watch church every morning or at night once a day to keep the spirit thriving. God's word is important and should be exciting for you, if you find church to be a snoozer, look online or go to a different church. Finding the right church is like finding the right pillow, not all will work for your neck support, but eventually you'll find one that's comfortable. It took some time for us to find the right church, but perseverance paid off, and it will for you, too!
Another church we watch strictly online is Elevation Church on YouTube. The pastor is a late millennial who is very excitable with a very enthusiastic organist in the background. He preaches about marriage, love, finding happiness when there's a heaviness on the heart, etc. We really get a message out of his sermons every day. He consistently preaches about how important tithing is, which it's actually very important. Did you know that tithe means 'one tenth'? One tenth of your paycheck, which is a lot but it's to give back to Jesus and help grow the community. Giving is such a wonderful feeling, and especially doing it for the Big Guy in the Sky.
Here's a link to Elevation Church: https://www.youtube.com/user/ElevationOnline/videos