Edited (6/16/21): A video of the full meeting can be seen at this link. All public comments pertaining to this issue begin at 6:32.
Glenview Village Board of Trustees Meeting
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Statement by the Rev. Josh Evans
St. Philip Lutheran Church
Good evening, my name is Pastor Josh Evans, and I use pronouns like he and him. I currently serve as Pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church, 1609 Pfingsten Road.
St. Philip has been a Reconciling in Christ congregation since 2017, meaning that we have formally passed a public welcome statement as a congregation that explicitly welcomes and affirms our LGBTQIA+ siblings.
At St. Philip, we believe that:
God loves you as you are – your race, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, socioeconomic and employment status, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, or religious background – and so do we!
As a faith leader in this community and an out gay man myself, I am proud to serve a congregation that has dedicated itself to these ideals – though I didn’t always have the luxury of being a part of such a welcoming and affirming faith community. The denomination I grew up in considered being LGBTQIA+ inherently “sinful.” Even today, congregations continue to grapple with what it means to be “welcoming,” particularly when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community. As a result, those of us with marginalized identities cannot always assume any given context is safe for us, unless proven otherwise.
This is why I am disappointed that the Village of Glenview has chosen to remain silent on the important issue of welcoming and affirming its LGBTQIA+ residents, especially during Pride Month. That silence speaks volumes, and it only perpetuates the harm that has been caused to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Whether in our churches or in our village hall, our welcome needs to be specific and explicit. Our welcome should leave no room to question or doubt who is included in that welcome. Our welcome needs to unequivocally state that the LGBTQIA+ community is safe in Glenview and that our elected officials stand with them.
That is the kind of welcome we strive for in the congregation I serve – and that is the kind of welcome I hope you will commit to in Glenview.