The church is where many people look to for support, leadership, compassion and hope. But for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, there are few churches with open doors and open arms. The Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette, Michigan has opened its doors and its hearts, especially when it comes to LGBT students. According to Uppermichaganssource.com on Sunday, the church held a suicide prevention forum to educate its members in becoming more effective when it comes to at-risk youth.
Grant Soltwisch who is one of the church’s team leaders told the source:
“We’ve become more knowledgeable of what’s going on because it’s not actually only the bullying that occurs, but people who put up with bullying and let it occur, and so I think I’ve seen people step forward and try to stop it.”
The Messiah Lutheran Church encourages anyone who has been bullied or is witness to bullying stand up and speak up because their voice can be very influential in saving a life.
As far as LGBT youth, the church states it does not turn anyone away no matter their background or sexual orientation as acceptance is what is being sought and what is needed in instilling a sense of self-love and importance to those being bullied or neglected because of who they are.
The church is expected to hold another forum at Northern Michigan University. LGBT students will have an opportunity to share and compare experiences they face within the community.