Inclusion and Acceptance

I recently attended a service at an Anglican church in a small town with which I had at one time been quite familiar, having often visited relations there as a child, and later a young adult. This town was fairly representative of small towns in central Ontario back in the day, being predominantly populated by white working class folk, and with the social structure and values that went along with that particular demographic. Many of them good, some not so good. And as I sat immersed in the liturgy in this beautiful old church, I was struck by the improbability of my situation, that I would find myself in this church, wearing a collar, attending a Eucharist officiated by a person of colour (this being the case on this occasion) and praying the Prayers of the People with a transgendered person. None of this was on the radar forty years ago! But the words of those prayers had now taken on a more significant meaning, especially when we came the part where we pray “for those who are lonely, sick, hungry, persecuted, or ignored”. And I was thankful that this town and this church, our church, had come so far along the road of acceptance and inclusion. This past week our diocese elected an openly gay bishop. This wasn’t on the radar forty years ago either. And while loving gay couples are still unable to marry in our church, it seems that soon their marriages will at least be blessed by the church. And access to the sacrament of marriage, which is certainly their right as part of Gods’ loving creation, cannot be far behind.

Reverend Colin Bowler


  1. Reply
    Kate says

    Bravo Colin. The church moves very slowly, so that when things do happen ,it seems like an upheaval. Thank God for wise, caring, nurturing people, such as yourself, to steady the course and help us all move forward. Blessings.

    • Reply
      stpauls says

      Nicely said Kate! And very kind words towards Colin. Thanks for taking the time to comment – best regards.

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