History and Dedication
This manual is a gift to the congregation of The Presbyterian Church, Mt. Kisco, New York, in recognition of the love and support that our church members have given to individuals and families whose lives have been touched by the issue of homosexuality.
Most of us grew up with very limited factual information about sexual orientation. It was not a topic which was discussed in public forums or within the family. Some of us within the congregation who now realize that we have gay or lesbian loved ones struggled a great deal as a result of this lack of information and because of the myths and sensationalism associated with homosexual orientation. As a result of our concerns, we met together for mutual study and support.
When we learned that this issue had affected our lives, we had many fears and questions. Scientific fact sheets, though excellent resources, did not address our concerns about our faith. Theological discussions often ignored scientific understanding. At risk were our family relationships and our relationship with the church. Some of us were accepting and supportive of our loved ones. Others experienced pain and alienation when we related to family with fear, silence and denial. We struggled a great deal. We were well meaning, but ignorant of basic facts.
We began our study. While we looked at prejudices against gay people, we soon learned more about the nature of all prejudice and its subtle and overt power. We learned more about ourselves and those we love the most. Our faith deepened. Instead of feeling defensive and diminished, we felt the world opening up to us. We hope this resource guide will help others in our congregation whose welcome and support has meant so much to us.