Pastor Denies Funeral Services for Lesbian Woman
Vanessa Collier, 33, died in December 30, 2014 and her funeral service was scheduled at New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colo., on Jan. 10, 2015. It was a tragic death as she died when her gun went off while she was cleaning it. She is survived by two daughters and her wife. Yes, her Wife.
Vanessa was a lesbian woman. This is not a story of my personal opinion about lesbian or gay relationships. I write this because her funeral services were to be held at New Hope Ministries Church in Lakewood, Colorado. The pastor is Ray Chavez. But he and the church refused to honor the deceased with her funeral service because they discovered that a family memorial video had photos of Vanessa Collier kissing her wife, Christina Higley. A family friend of 15 years, Dawnnetta Pierce-Fernandez, was quoted as saying, “They said that they didn’t agree with her alternative lifestyle. They gave the family the option to edit the video and the family decided that they were not going to allow Vanessa’s life to be edited.”
As if it could be any worse, Pastor Chavez did not cancel the service until after its scheduled start. Fifteen minutes went by before he cancelled her final services, in front of her friends and family who had come to pay final respects. I do not know the family, but support those 1000% with their decision to not edit the video northern deceased lifestyle. “Chaplain Gary Rolando, a friend of Collier’s father, who ultimately conducted the funeral and internment service instead”…said Chavez was willing to allow photos of Collier’s marriage proposal to be shown, and that they asked “that their policy be followed and that they not be overtly affectionate in the way of kissing,”
I am not an overly zealous Christian, but in the Bible, it says,“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”(Luke 6:37). Would not Pastor Chavez and his New Hope church agree that the Bible might have a bit more history and relevance than his own policies?
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