Several years ago, we engaged in a months-long process to decide whether we wished to become an Oasis congregation. Once we set our feet on that path, we have not looked back. We have hosted events in our community to raise awareness of GLBTQ issues and to provide a space and a community for considering those issues in action, most recently offering a memorial service for those who were killed in an Orlando nightclub and their killer. A few years ago, we were the only church who testified at the Kirksville City Council in favor of an anti-discrimination ordinance for local housing. We seek out opportunities to learn more about how we might better create a just and respectful world. For example, we attend an annual welcome event at Truman State University for GLBTQ students and their supporters and we seek out opportunities for dialogue with members of the GLBTQ community in Adair County.
Trinity is an Oasis Congregation. Oasis Congregations are congregations which have undergone a time of study, prayer and discernment about what it means to offer intentional welcome to LGBTQ people and their families and friends, and have signed the Oasis Affirmation of Welcome.
Trinity is one of only seven congregations in Missouri to sign the Oasis Affirmation and the only openly-declared LGBTQ affirming church in Northeast Missouri.
The Oasis Affirmation of Welcome
We believe that all people are worthy of respect and honor, because all are created in the image of God, and all can respond to the love of god. In our baptismal vows we commit ourselves, with God’s help, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, by loving our neighbors as ourselves, respecting the dignity of every human being, and striving for justice and peace among all people.
Yet we see that, in our churches and in society, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are not always counted among those for whom the Church seeks justice, or grants due respect, as loving and beloved members of the household of God. We recognize that fear of, and discrimination against, gay lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is part of an oppressive history within the Church and society, which distorts our relationship with God and with other people, and diminishes the humanity of us all.
Therefore we feel compelled to make explicit our welcome of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people into the ministries and life of this congregation, incarnating the message, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” We encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to participate in all aspects of the ministries of this church, by bearing witness to Christ, and fully participating in our life, worship and governance.
Where we see division, we will seek, with God’s help to be a people of reconciliation, offering a love that casts out all fear. Where we see injustice and ignorance, we will offer our ministry of advocacy and education, trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us all into truth.
Each of the Oasis Congregations has affirmed this statement. Trinity is also affiliated with Integrity USA, where it is listed as Believe Out Loud / Welcoming Congregation.