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For His Birthday, a Gay Atheist Is Raising Money for an LGBTQ-Inclusive Church

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As a gay atheist, Joshua Todd had well and truly left the Christian church behind.

So why is he using his birthday to launch a GoFundMe to raise money for The Garden United Methodist Church? Well, he believes in good works. With a career in social work that’s led him to become President and CEO of the Oregon youth organization Camp Fire Columbia and a history of outreach to young people, he doesn’t think you need God to make the world a better place… but he knows that people of God can be part of the project if they choose. Good works are good works.

In conversation with his sister, he found out that The Garden — the church where she attends services and volunteers — runs a food pantry for hungry residents of the East Little Creek area in Norfolk, Virginia. The pantry’s web page notes that one in five members of the local population lives in poverty, making food insecurity an important issue for community well-being.

So the food pantry is an important charitable mission that took a hit when the congregation split over a vote to affirm LGBTQ people and relationships.

The vote was part of a larger disagreement within […]

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