Dear Sayidna Joseph,
We are writing to you as members in good standing in our Church, as children of God who love Christ and His Church with ALL our heart, and as Orthodox Christians whose hearts are breaking for so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Specifically today, we write in full support of Father Aaron Warwick. We recently read Pastoring LGBTQ Individuals in the Orthodox Church, an article that he wrote for the website Orthodoxy in Dialogue. We found his words to be a godly breath of fresh air, and he gave us hope that our Church might be able to finally have an honest, Christ-centered conversation about a difficult issue. It is a discussion that is long overdue.
The Church frequently practices “economia” in other areas, such as divorce and remarriage, birth control, no longer telling slaves to treat their masters as Christ, etc. We have been discouraged that our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters are not also granted the same mercy. So reading Father Aaron’s words gave us hope.
It is with sorrow that we have learned that Father Aaron has been viciously maligned by members of our Archdiocese. It is a tragic and embarrassing commentary that, in the Orthodox Church, people can act so hatefully towards one another, and that many refuse even to read his words or give prayerful consideration to what he has to say.
If it is true that we will be judged according to the Light we have been shown, then we must not turn our backs when more of His Light is revealed to us.
Please count us among the members of the Archdiocese who support Father Aaron and his work. May God grant him many years.
Deacon Gary and Melissa Braun
Deacon Gary and Melissa Braun have seven children and six grandchildren, and reside in Santa Barbara CA.