On Sunday, Living Faith Lutheran Church will welcome Reverend Pam Challis as pastor in their congregation. The church is also inviting the community to show Living Faith support for breaking away from their church in order to accommodate the faith needs of members of the gay and lesbian community.
For those who do not know the story of Living Faith Lutheran Church, it began in 2008 when Christ Lutheran Church rejected the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s (ELCA) proposal to allow the gay and lesbian community to practice their faith in Evangelical Lutheran churches across America. Christ Lutheran chose to leave ELCA due to conflicting beliefs on this subject matter.
Because of Christ Lutheran’s refusal to accept the gays and lesbians as part of the faith community, approximately 80 to 100 members of Christ Lutheran Church broke away in order to form their own Congregation called Living Faith Lutheran. Living Faith Lutheran Church allows all people, no matter their sexual orientation, to worship and practice their faith in a non-judgmental setting.
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St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church opened their doors to Living Faith and has allowed them to be the first and only other organized church group to hold worship services in their sanctuary.
“They began looking for a place to worship and we offered them a place at St. Stephens,” said Reverend Lynn Jay of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
Living Faith accepts the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s point of view on accepting and allowing people of all sexual orientations to be a part of the ordination process, as does St. Stephen’s.
“The Episcopal Church, particularly the Diocese of Los Angeles, and certainly St. Stephens in particular believe that all people are welcome in the church, gay, straight, whatever,” Reverend Lynn Jay of St. Stephen’s Church said.
Living Faith is welcoming community members to visit St. Stephens on Sunday, January 9 at 5 p.m. to show support to the congregation.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is located on 24901 Orchard Village Road in Newhall.