Faith Restored

Church Opens Doors for Homeless Gay Teens

I am always grateful to find these types of articles and to have my FAITH restored in religion. YES, a church acting like a church.

A church-turned-shelter for homeless youth in Queens, New York is a far cry from sleeping on the streets after a $200,000 renovation and a partnership with the Ali Forney Center for LGBT youth.

By Michelle Garcia

ALI FORNEY KIDS 3 X390 (SION FULLANA) | ADVOCATE.COM

A converted church in Queens, N.Y., may look like a pleasant youth hostel, but many of its residents made a tough journey to find this new place to call home.

The Ali Forney Center, New York City’s top service organization for homeless youth, found a partner in the local Episcopal diocese, which also took interest in the hardships that many LGBT homeless youths face. The partnership resulted in a $200,000 renovation of St. Andrew’s Church in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, where 16 young people can now sleep soundly.

Carl Siciliano, executive director of the center, says he’s grateful for the church’s philanthropic outreach.

“So many of these young people are rejected by their families because of religion,” he says. “Kids come in who have been put through exorcisms, and we’ve had kids whose parents make them go see priests who tell them they’re evil and hateful and that they’re going to hell. It’s a really upsetting and unfortunate situation that so many young people are put through this kind of trauma by their parents’ religious beliefs, so it’s very moving to see a religious organization that’s able to say that these youth should be affirmed and cared for, so I’m very grateful to the Episcopal diocese of Long Island for their support.”

Read the rest of the article here

I recently watched the film “For the Bible Tells Me So” which was very well done.  It so closely parallels my own story in taking on the Mormon church in the recent events surrounding Proposition 8.  Our youth are dying because of the sermons they hear in their church… which should be a place of refuge and security, rather than fear and condemnation.

I continue to hear the heartfelt words of Mary Griffith…

“Before you echo Amen in your home or place of worship, think and remember…a child is listening.”

As an ex-mormon zealot I am forever grateful that my God told me to put my arms around my child and tell him “You are okay, I love you, just the way you are. You are Gods gift to me, always have been and that hasn’t changed”.

I only wish more religions who preach God as an omnipotent, all loving being would behave in accordance with what they preach and follow His example.

2 thoughts on “Faith Restored

  1. Alan Jackson

    Religions can preach or say what they want and it does not matter. You see Christianity is not and I repeat is not a religion, it is and always will be a way of life. I am a Christian (follower of Christ) and I do not believe that government should legislate what I consider to be morals. The way a person lives is between them and their maker. Please do not confuse religion with Christianity. And I will remind you that yes, while God is love, he is also a consuming fire. You cannot have it both ways. Men with men and women with women goes against nature as stated in the Bible. Of course all this means nothing if the Bible is not the inspired written word. God considers homosexuality as sin and no manner of sin can enter into the kingdom of heaven. It is noble to stand with your children but by condoning the lifestyle or way of life you have become part and parcel to their spending eternity in torment.

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  2. Dennis Dahill

    Here is Christian arrogance at it’s utmost! There is no proof that the bible is the “inspired word of God”. Only the say so of those who want to control your mind and feed your ignorance and hatred. Remember that the MEN (not God) who wrote the bible also believed the world was flat. Slavery was ok, and stoning to death was ok. Christians also continually confuse homosexuality with morals and sin. If so, where is it mentioned in the 10 commandments? Where does Jesus mention it? Some bibles even have it written in red for your convenience. I am happy to say that I escaped the farce of christianity, when my holy-ghost filled pastor referred to a black man as a “n*gger”. It is this kind of hatred that exposes organized religion (INCLUDING christianity) for what it is: Obedience, control of your mind AND your bank account. Yes, I do believe in God, who created all of us. Gay and straight. For anyone to attempt to use God as a weapon to condemn someone for something you don’t agree with is the ultimate abomination.

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