A gay pastor on the Gold Coast will give his first Sunday services this weekend after starting his own church to “celebrate the gifts” of LGBTIQ congregants.
Shane St Reynolds (pictured) is pastor of the LGBTIQ-inclusive Universal Church of Love, Peace and Equality.
This weekend he’s giving his first in-person Sunday Services at Southport.
Reynolds studied at Anglican theological college Saint Francis in Queensland. He later worked at an Anglican Church on the Gold Coast.
He said, “Our LGBTIQ community have had their share of experiences in the church that have been negative.
“I witnessed that firsthand. I married my partner last year, and because of that the Archbishop couldn’t give a decision on whether or not they would ordain me as a priest.
“So I decided with my partner to set up our own Sunday service to welcome our community.
“We’ve really seen there’s a need here for a safe, inclusive church for people to come and worship Jesus.”
Reynolds said he and his partner have booked out the Southport Community Centre on the Gold Coast.
And this Sunday (January 16) he will hold his first Sunday service at the Centre from 9:30am.
Gold Coast church is progressive Christian community
The Universal Church is a non-denominational and progressive Christian community for all people, “regardless of race, sex, creed, age, cultural background, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.”
Pastor Shane St Reynolds said everyone is welcome, “wherever you are on your faith journey, wherever you have come from, wherever you are going to.”
“Nobody wants to go to a community where they’re not welcome,” he said.
“The church is supposed to be a sanctuary.
“You don’t want to be met by a bouncer at the front door, who’s only too quick to judge you for what they believe about you.
“We want people to come here and know that they will receive a warm welcome.”
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