In The Sunday Conversation, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s attracted to men, but he considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.
“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” he says. “So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”
Where he is now is married. He and his wife, Leanne Edwards, are joyfully expecting a baby in July.
But let’s start earlier, in the mid-’90s, when Allan was in high school, when he found himself thinking about boys more than girls. “It was a pretty immediate realization that it was in conflict with my faith,” he says.
He didn’t understand how he could resolve his feelings, he says, and had little support from his friends. “I didn’t know anyone else who experienced same-sex attractions, so I didn’t talk about it much at all,” Allan says.
But at a small, Christian liberal arts college, he did start talking.
“My expectation was, if I started talking to other guys about this, I’m going to get ostracized and lambasted,” Allan says. “I actually had the exact opposite experience. … I actually was received with a lot of love, grace, charity: some confusion, but openness to dialogue.”
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