A nondenominational church has had a change of heart and will allow a gay couple have a dedication ceremony for their son.
Several weeks ago controversy arose when Rich Jones and Adrian Mertz wanted to schedule a dedication ceremony at Shoreline Church for Santino, the 4-year-old boy they are in the process of adopting after they married last year in Las Vegas. The church is one of the largest in the Austin, Texas, area with three campuses.
Families of other children not old enough for baptism regularly participated in the public commitment ceremony in which parents declare their desire to raise their child to honor God. Some Christian denominations believe that children should be old enough to make their own decisions to follow Jesus before being baptized and do not allow infant baptism.
But a church leader told the couple that the church wouldn’t perform the ceremony in the sanctuary where the other dedication ceremonies happen. They could have Santino’s ceremony in a side chapel because some church members weren’t ready for two dads.
“The pain started setting in and then it was the time to want to mourn almost,” Jones said.
Jones and Mertz attended Shoreline Church before they started dating, and since they adopted Santino, they all go. They said the congregation and church leaders have welcomed their family with open arms.
Church leaders changed their mind after a KVUE-TV reporter called them Thursday.
“We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused the Mertz family regarding the dedication of their child to God,” church officials said in a statement. “We understand how our attempt to make a reasonable accommodation was misguided and hurtful. It is our intent to uphold human dignity, and in this regard we have failed. We are reaching out to the family to invite them to our next baby dedication.”
Click here for more.
SOURCE: USA Today
Shelton Green, KVUE-TV, Austin, Texas