Glendale City Church, a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glendale, California, celebrated gay pride last month, with events on June 3, 10, 17, and 24, according to the church's Face Book page:
"Glendale City Church's afternoon worship, Urban Liturgy, invites you to join us for our Pride month gatherings. At 3:00 pm on June 4, 11 & 18, music, art and discussion will bring us into conversation and community centered in the spirit of Pride."
"The evening of June 25, plan to come to our Pride Party. More specific details coming soon!"
"All Urban Liturgy events are open to everyone regardless of gender, orientation, race, or faith (or non-faith) tradition. Hope you can join us!"
The dates in the initial Face Book announcement are in error, as they give Sunday dates--Freudian slip? The actual meetings were on Sabbath afternoons at 3:00 p.m., and the pride party was held on Sabbath evening of June 24, at 6:00 p.m. Glendale City Church has a sub-ministry entitled "Urban Liturgy at Glendale City Church" which sponsored the events of gay pride month.
The June 3 afternoon meeting was entitled "Straight but not narrow" and featured Daneen Akers talking about how straight people could be good allies to the LGBTQ(etc.) people in their lives.
The June 10 meeting was entitled "Sincere and well meaning . . . but unfaithful" and featured Todd Leonard purporting to debunk the Bible's "clobber texts" that condemn same-sex sexual activity.
The June 17 afternoon meeting featured Alex Dubov, a professor of Christian ethics at Loma Linda University conducting a lecture entitled, "AIDS: what we need to know now," and discussed the progress and remaining challenges related to AIDS that gay people need to be aware of.
The June 24 afternoon meeting was entitled, "I AM: An LGBTQ Lexicon," and featured Arleene Chow making a presentation and facilitating a discussion "to help us better understand the meanings, and in a number of cases, put a face to, the evolving terminology we use to describe our identities and orientations."
The gay pride party on the evening of June 24 featured a lesbian d.j. playing gay-friendly music.
Glendale City Church has had a reputation of being gay-friendly for decades, over the tenures of several pastors, going back at least to the 1980s. Southern California Conference officials have chosen not to attempt any meaningful reforms, and by leaving Todd Leonard in as head pastor, they are intentionally experimenting with having an openly pro-gay, homosexuality-is-not-wrong-at-all SDA Church.
The long history of GCC's gay-friendly approach was acknowledged by Pastor Leonard in his Face Book apologia for his decision to take the pro-gay policy to new heights (or new depths):
"Do you think that this choice to honor and welcome LGBTQ people was made lightly? Do you think it happened overnight? Do you think that we made this choice apart from Scripture and the historical interpretations that are a part of our Adventist faith? Could it be that arriving at this posture came after years of multiple pastors and lay leaders wrestling in prayer, Bible Study, dialogue, listening to and learning from LGBTQ Adventists? Could it be that we actually value many of same principles that you do but are living them out in a different way?"
After seeing the results of Pastor Leonard's "years of Bible Study," will anyone still dare to argue that a new hermeneutic has not been introduced among us? Is there anyone still so blind that they cannot see where the women's ordination hermeneutic is taking us?