I just got back from my appt with my therapist. The dilemma is what to do with my call here. If I want to pursue anything that might lead to a relationship in here it will become public knowledge. If I were dating a woman, that would be ok, but to be out with a guy, well, that would raise some eyebrows! My congregation is pretty conservative. In a congregation of 900, I know of two possible gay folks (one man, one woman) but this is only speculation on my part.
I know that the Episcapal Church is pretty open to openly gay clergy. So are UU but I don't think I could be a UU. I could stay here and stay celebate but why go through all the work of coming out if I just have to stuff my feelings again.
The person in the ELCA I thought I could trust is not sure of his feeling about gay clergy. He said he is behind me but I need to know that he is out with the jury. I had hoped I could find someone within the ELCA who might have some ideas of what I could do within the ELCA.
At this point I would be uncomfortable even chatting with a guy in a bookstore for fear of people finding out. I guess once or twice wouldn't be bad but if I start showing up in public with men not from the congregation, things could get weird.
Then the other question is: Do I want to continue as a pastor or is there something else I want to do? I have wanted to go into counseling but I only have a MA in psychology and I do not have a license. If I were licensed there would be more optionis. I love teaching but I do not have a teaching certificate nor is the teaching market very open.
I know that as I come out more and more, I will meet different problems. But right now, I don't even know if I will be able to come out more and more.
Any ideas would be appreciated, otherwise, thanks for your ear.
Peace to you,
I'm afraid I can't help too much, but only listen. Your call is between you and God. All of this, really, is between you and God. That's who we really work for. Congregations? Sure, but we wouldn't be in this line of work if God hadn't have said something at some point. God called you as you are, not as the congregation, or society, or your denomination, or any other denomination, wishes you to be. As you are. Warts, gifts, sexuality, pet peeves, eye color, and all.
I wish I could be of more help. I will always listen. God bless your search, and may you hear God's voice calling you in the right direction for you in the now on the Way.