The mission of the Oasis Missouri is to help congregations develop intentional welcome for LGBTQ people and helping LGBTQ people to discover safe places to worship God without hiding an essential part of who they are.
One of the ways we do this is by providing an Oasis Congregation program. In this congregational study, faith communities explore the variety of ways in which this issue has impacted the church and church members, what the Bible says about it, and we hear from members of Oasis congregations. After completing this program, a congregation can spend some time discerning whether or not they wish to adopt an "Affirmation of Welcome" thereby becoming an Oasis Congregation.
There are currently seven Oasis congregations in the Diocese of Missouri:
- Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust, St. Louis
- Episcopal Church of the Advent, 9373 Garber, Crestwood
- Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, 1860 Lake St. Louis Blvd., Lake St. Louis
- St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 4714 Clifton, St. Louis
- Trinity Episcopal Church-CWE, 600 N. Euclid, St. Louis
- Trinity Episcopal Church, 124 N. Mulanix, Kirksville
- Washington University Campus Ministry, Rockwell House
- A resource that Oasis has used for years in working with parishes who are discerning their call to be Oasis congregations is "What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?" by the Rev. Dan Handschy, former rector of Church of the Advent in Crestwood.A pdf of this article is available online.
This paper was developed from a workshop given at the Diocese of Missouri’s annual convention in November 2000. Both the workshop and this paper are intended to give lay people and clergy the tools necessary to use scripture as a contribution to ethical discussion. All too often, particularly concerning how the church will respond to questions of blessing same sex unions and ordaining non-celibate gay persons, scripture is adduced to end conversation rather than to bring clarity to the discussion. Many committed clergy and lay people, confronted with a ‘proof-texting’ use of scripture, either dismiss scripture as culturally limited and so of no use to the current discussion, or turn to other strands of scripture without engaging seriously what scripture can contribute to our discussion. It is hoped that this paper, used as a discussion guide, will help laity and clergy in congregational or diocesan setting seriously seeking the voice of scripture to make a richer use of the Bible than is often heard in the church’s debates.