Pastor John's letter to the editor in the Berkshire Eagle, 7/29/2017:
To the editor:
As pastor of Church on the Hill in Lenox, an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ — and as a son, grandson, and nephew to persons who have served in the U.S. armed forces — I repudiate and denounce the White House’s move to deny transgender persons the privilege and right to serve in our nation’s military.
In our church we believe and teach that human beings are made in God’s image: that humans of every gender expression and sexual identity are expressions of the unlimited diversity and beauty of our Creator.
Which means, among the ways we can describe God’s infinite attributes we can say with wonder and appreciation: God is transgender. We say so all the more today, because the Bible teaches us to see God especially in those persons who are maligned and marginalized because of who they are, by nature and by grace.
Borrowing the words of a UCC pastor, we send this message to our transgender neighbors: You are not a burden; you are a blessing.
You are not an issue; you are a child of God.
You are not expensive; you are priceless.
We will serve with you any time. We love you. God loves you more.
Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson, Lenox