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The Episcopal Church welcomes…

The Episcopal Church welcomes…

Rivertowns Patch reports on a gay couple who found the Episcopal Church after being kicked out of their Roman Catholic Church and how they are making a difference for gay and lesbian youth:

What was a loss for a Catholic church in the Bronx seven years ago was a major gain for Dobbs Ferry’s Zion Episcopal Church—or at least that’s how congregant Michael Sabatino sees it.

In 2003, Sabatino and his then-partner (now husband) Robert Voorheis, Yonkers residents, were told they could no longer sing in their church choir because they went public with their sexuality in a Journal News piece titled, “The New Faces of Marriage.”

“At that point, we could have walked away from the church all together,” said Sabatino, who was raised Roman Catholic and attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through college. “But so many congregations reached out to us, inviting us to join, that it kept us on track.”

One such clergy member was the Rev. Richard McKeon, then the priest at Dobbs Ferry’s Zion Episcopal, who—besides asking the couple to join his congregation—”asked if he could lend us any emotional support,” Sabatino recalled. He, Voorhies and his aging mother joined the small congregation in Dobbs Ferry without looking back.

“The church has such a welcoming community,” Sabatino said. “If someone is sick, the church brings food and arranges visitors. There’s a small choir, a Sunday school—and of course the congregation welcomes LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] members.”


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John D. Andrews

Being a welcoming church and not simply pointing to our liturgy as a selling point makes much more sense to me.

Canon K F KKing Tssf

Hearing a Roman Catholic waitress complain that she and her Evangelical Lutheran husband and family had no comfortable worship home, I suggested that, without considering changing church membership, they worship with our small town congregation. They did, eventually all were involved in the life of the parish. My sucessor brought them into the Episcopal Church and, in due course,the husband studied and became the self-supporting priest (as well as mayor!) and continues in a diocesan leadership post. There should always be room in our congregations for all who are “the walking wounded” in our communities. They are often the “angels” of the Lord in our midst.

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