My partner and I are the two gay men referred to in “Maybe I could sit in the back row” (May 7, 2021, in print; online at anabaptistworld.org/maybe-i-could-sit-in-the-back-row). The meeting with a pastor took place in 2004. My partner’s upbringing was mainly in a Mennonite Brethren church, while mine was in the United Church of Canada. We explained that we both have faith and wished to have a place to worship. As the writer stated, we were not there to be crusaders. Worshiping God and growing our faith were our sole desires.
Music has been a large part of my partner’s life, and he wished to use that gift in whatever church we ended up attending. Sadly, the pastor was clear that this would not be possible due to our sexual orientation and his church’s position on this issue. We had been attending adult Sunday school as well as the weekly service there. Yet, all through this time we felt isolated. The Bible teaches us not to judge others, but it felt very much like we were being deemed unworthy of worshiping there.
We did not return to that church, or any other Mennonite church, as it was clear that this church’s position was not accepting of us. It was good to read that the church is beginning to address this issue. We hope that someday all God’s children will be welcomed to worship within all Mennonite Brethren congregations.
Brian McKay, Ottawa, Ont.