Faith Based Resource List

Last night at I was on the panel of the Anti-Hate Crime radio show being recorded by the Anti-Hate Crime Group and Secklow Sounds on the subject of homophobia. One of the questions was how are LGB(and T -which was a separate show) Christians supported. I gave an answer which sounded a bit like it might have been a mastermind specialist subject of mine. But I was very conscious it couldn’t in the time available go into the depth it needed. It also reminded me of something I heard a couple of years ago at a Q week talk at a uni I was at, “The only thing harder than being gay in the Christian community is being Christian in the Gay community.”

This is a subject that I don’t just come from in a professional direction, (in my role as Community Engagement Officer for Q:alliance) but also very much from a personal one. I have gone through my coming out process in various churches and am part of the LGBandT Christian community. I am also a Methodist Local Preacher who regularly preaches in various churches around the local area. For me being a gay Christian has generally been a positive experience but in part that is because I have been part of a number of excellent networks and had great support as well as friendship available. I know way too may people who that has not been the case for and that’s why I have put together what I hope is a comprehensive resource list.

Before I start with the Christian links I’d like to signpost Imaan which is a support group working with Muslim LGBandT people.

I also want to draw attention to a couple of groups which exist in Milton Keynes, these are in addition to there being a number of welcoming and affirming churches of varying denominations locally.:

Just Church – A Christian lesbian couple hold monthly fellowship meetings in
Milton Keynes for LGBT Christians. The group provides a meeting place for
LGBT Christians who are seeking a safe place of friendship in which to
reconcile their faith and sexuality and grow towards Christian maturity as
well as their partners and friends, parents and other family members. For
further information on the time and venue, please contact Jane by e-mail at
info@just-church.org.uk.

The local Quakers are also setting up a meeting of the QLGF locally, if you contact Q:alliance we can pass your details on to the correct contact.

Most of the sites below have links to further resources and many have confidential lists of inclusive churches who are welcoming to LGBandT people. If you are a minister of a church which is affirming to LGBandT people please consider getting in touch with these groups to add your churches details to their lists. Please also get intouch with us at Q:alliance if you would like us to hold your details to pass on to people should they enquire. Email: communications@qalliance.org.uk

Whilst I understanding the difficulties involved I think  it would be useful if at some point a public directory to be compiled and be directly accessible indicating where were inclusive churches but also where non-regular attenders might be able to go for trans naming services, Civil Partnership Blessings, Transgender Day of Remembrance events and so on.

So on with the updated list:

Inclusive Church (Anglican and focused and a range of diversity issues)

Outcome (Methodist)

QLGF (Quaker)

QUEST (Catholic)

Affirming Baptists (Baptist)

The United Reformed Church which allows civil partnership blessings to be held in its churches IF AGREED BY THE INDIVIDUAL CONGREGATION has produced some good resources.

Ecumenical Groups (and those representing specific theological perspectives)

Accepting Evangelicals – provides monthly email and has blog coming from a progressive evangelical perspective. Also provides speakers for debates in clergy training establishments, etc.

Evangelical Fellowship of Lesbian and Gay Christians

The Sibyls – Spirituality group for Transgender Christians

LGCM – more liberal organisation working as a strong pressure group on behalf of LGandB Christians

Gay Christian Network which is an international organisation, with an annual conference in the US

Gay Christian Europe. on line group which also has gatherings and annual retreat in UK

Two:23 network which provides quarterly meetings in London

Greenbelt has talks aimed at supporting LGBandT Christians within its programme. There are a seperate network of people working alongside the main festival to provide safe space opportunities including a communion service open to all but specifically enabling LGBandT Christians and their families and friends to share communion together. I don’t have the time at the moment to go through all their talks and pick out good ones to signpost, I would invite you if you have time to look through these though. In addition to the speakers already signposted through this list I would add John Bell and Tony Campollo as names to use when searching for talks on this subject. Peter Tatchell has also spoken at this festival and his talks are available on here too.

Peterson Toscano has information on his website which helps support those who have been involved in the ex-gay movement and material looking biblically at transgender issues.

James Alison – A gay Catholic theologian who has produced some excellent resources. This site links to his books and talks.

A Letter to Louise - site showing letter of a pastor giving a biblical affirmation of homosexuality

Family Acceptance – For families of LGBandT people

Nadia Boltz-Weber has provided a good example of liturgy for a trans naming rite, which is posted on her blog

Books

Lee, J, (2013), Unconditional , Hodder and Stoughton. This is a new resource by the founder of the Gay Christian Network which is intended to help both LGBandT Christians and straight Christians to think through the issues.

Hill, W (2010), Washed and Waiting, Zondervan – a book by a celibate gay Christian who believes that his faith means he has to remain celibate. I have included this because I know Wesley and think he explains well why some LGandB Christians do choose to remain celebate. To help support them it is important to understand where they are coming from.

Marin, A, (2009), Love is an Orientation, IVP Books – book from a straight person looking to build bridges across the divide

Hagger-Holt, Rand Hagger Holt, S, (2009), Living it Out: A Survival Guide for lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians and their friends, families and churches, Canterbury Press (see http://www.livingitout.com/ )

Hopper, G.S.E.,(2005) Reluctant Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith from Homophobia to Christian Love, (see http://www.reluctantjourney.co.uk/)

Marks, J, (2009), Exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie (Can be ordered from http://www.courage.org.uk/publications/Exchanging-Order-Form.pdf)

Outcome, (2009), And Can it Be?, (Can be ordered fromhttp://www.garyhopkins.net/outcome/bookform.pdf)

Films

Fish Out of Water - Documentary exploring relationship between homosexuality and the bible

For the Bible Tells Me So - Film looking at the experiences of lesbian and gay people and their families

Through My Eyes – Film sharing the experiences of young US LGBandT people

Prayers for Bobby – Film based upon the story of a young man who commits suicide and his families response

Other info

The Marin Foundation seeks to build bridges across the divide of opinion. Andrew Marin founder of this organisation has spoken at Spring Harvest.

Some local groups and churches exist which support LGBandT Christians. The following are just some I am aware of:

Soho Masses – Catholic local group in London

First Sunday in Oxford have a very good resource list

MCC Newcastle – MCC churches exist at different places within the UK and worldwide, including in North London.

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