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In the spirit of the A-Z Challenge, let me say that F is for Friendly (it is also for Fawn, but that’s a story for another day). Google defines “friendly” as being “kind” and “pleasant”. Then it continues with a huge list of synonyms, including these: congenial, cordial, warm, hospitable, open, accessible. Tonight I want to brag (just a little) about one of my favorite places, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Visalia, California.

One of the descriptors used about our church is that it is LGBT-friendly. We don’t use that term lightly. It doesn’t mean LGBT persons are tolerated or put up with, but that we are open and accessible to them. We are congenial, cordial, warm, and hospitable. We don’t treat them any differently than we would anyone else. If you walk in the door, you are made welcome. No matter who you are, who you know, or where you have been before. It is a safe place, truly a sanctuary.

The sign in front of the church says, “All are Welcome!” Not “all who share our same views are welcome” or “all who live in our neighborhood are welcome” or “all who are perfect are welcome”, but ALL. Wherever you come from spiritually, physically, psychologically…you are welcome here!

The next service is Sunday at 9:00 a.m. You are welcome. (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church meets at Congregation B-Nai David, 1039 S. Chinowth, Visalia, CA.)

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