Just as the rest of the people around me get back into the swing of life, post summer vacations, once again, I am in the throngs of helping put together another Celebrating National Coming Out Day service, this year at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach this October 10 at 6:00 pm.

One of the organizers from St. Luke’s sent an email update, and included an incident reminded me, why our efforts are still desperately needed. Tom wrote:

“I printed out your flyer and put it on my “free-speech” bulletin board outside my office at CSULB. A student (let’s call him Larry) who was in my class last year, and always argued about the virtues of conservative Christianity (his brother is a pastor), came to me because he saw the Coming Out Service flyer.

He told me that he had contemplated suicide over the summer after receiving reparative “pastoral “ counseling last year at his undergrad alma mater (APU). He is not sure why he is still here on earth, but he said he wants to stick around. He asked about Campus counseling and other resources, and he will think about coming to the Service.  He will Come Out to his parents this weekend after church; please everyone, pray for him and for all those who might be touched by our small efforts (and especially for those we don’t touch)!”

For those of us who are involved in faith and mission with affirming open and welcoming churches, it is easy to forget there are still people like “Larry” out in the world. If you attending worship services this Sunday, or don’t…..keep all the Larry’s in your heart and prayers.

Yes, it’s that time of year, and this note fully reminds me why this simple service of stories, music and prayer is still needed, and very important.

I printed out your flyer and put it on my “free-speech” bulletin board outside my office at CSULB. A student (let’s cal him Larry) who was in my class last year, and always argued about the virtues of conservative Christianity (his brother is a pastor), came to me because he saw the Coming Out Service flyer. He told me that he had contemplated suicide over the summer after receiving reparative “pastoral “ counseling last year at his undergrad alma mater (APU). He is not sure why he is still here on earth, but he said he wants to stick around. He asked about Campus counseling and other resources, and he will think about coming to the Service.  He will Come Out to his parents this weekend after church; please everyone, pray for him and for all those who might be touched by our small efforts (and especially for those we don’t touch)!  Yes, this is the reason we do all of this stuff – please remember “Larry” this Sunday around 1:00PM.