Clergy to address gay, lesbian issues

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Father Chuck Durante of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church wants gays to know they are welcome in his congregation.

"I think it's important for people to realize that the church's stand is welcoming and is not condemnatory as is so often heard," he said. "Sadly, the message that has been sent is that Christianity has no room for people who are gay."

Durante will join a panel of other local religious leaders to address the next meeting of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Carson Region.

"Coming out to God can be as difficult for some members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as coming out to their families and friends,"

Pam Graber, chapter secretary, wrote in a press release.

Stan Pesis, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, said he will speak candidly about the "long and painful kind of conversation that is still going on within the national church."

"The Lutheran Church welcomes people of all kinds of backgrounds," he said. "More specifically, the issue is what role can gays and lesbians expect to play in the leadership of the church? That's a very different question."

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation at the 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting at St. Paul's Lutheran Church Friendship Hall, 1201 N. Saliman Road. The public is invited to attend.

"The Religious Panel meeting we had last year was so successful, we knew we had to host it again," said PFLAG Carson Region President Rebecca Palmer in a prepared statement. "It was a fascinating meeting. The ministers described their congregation's position on LGBTs. There were loads of questions and the religious leaders gave out some powerful perspectives."  

Among the panelists are Father Jeff Paul of St. Peter's Episcopal Church; the Rev. Stan Pesis of St. Paul's Lutheran Family Church and Durante of St. Teresa of Avila.

PFLAG is an organization made up of people working to promote the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  

For information, contact Pam (775) 220-4151.


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