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.
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.