Tempe churches affirm LGBT rights during Sunday services - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Tempe churches affirm LGBT rights during Sunday services

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Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012 5:19 pm

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the so-called Phoenix Declaration.

Back in 2002, Christian ministers across the Valley came together to declare their support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Sunday morning, a special service in Tempe was held to renew that support.

Cynthia Mruczek and her partner Valeska French were among those who attended the service at the Community Christian Disciples of Christ Church .

"It's very lovely to be in a church community that welcomes our family," said Mruczek.

But Mruczek knows that not every church in the Valley would embrace her family like they do at Community Christian Disciples of Christ Church.

So to celebrate that diversity, the congregation took their message of tolerance to the streets.

"We're a family," said Mruczek. "We provide a supportive, loving family for (daughter Violet) who is going to grow up and be an important part of the world."

After starting the service at Community Christian, parishioners marched to neighboring St. Augustine's Episcopal Church .

Organizers wanted to show solidarity in affirming the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual members.

"Our understanding on the life of Jesus and the calling of God is to be inclusive and affirming of everyone," said Susan Ringler, Pastor of the Guardian Angles Catholic Community , a third church involved in the service. "That's not just about tolerance but celebrating our differences, our diversity."

Church members wanted to send a message of the importance of marriage equality especially in this, an election year.

"I love it," said Bob Monahan. "I wouldn't be attending a church that wouldn't do that."

Mruczek agrees.

It's exactly the reason you'll find her right back in the same place next Sunday as well.

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