Towards a Welcoming & Inclusive Church
A Time to Build Up
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
All in God's Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families
Giving you opportunities to gather with other members of your congregation to pray, to learn, to share, and to work together to transform your lives, your congregation, and your world into a loving place in which God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families can thrive.
To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations
In order to both highlight the vibrancy, faithfulness and power of the Welcoming Movement and to counter the 'false witness' of those who seek to quash this movement of hospitality and justice, the Institute for Welcoming Resources surveyed pastors and leaders of 1,200 Welcoming congregations to ask them about their work and witness. Two areas emerged that warrant particular focus and celebration:
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
Embodying Our Faith
LGBT Stations Of The Cross for LGBT Equality
Throughout the Lenten season, we'll be sharing images from Mary Button's Stations of the Cross: The Struggle for LGBT Equality. This series invites viewers to see Jesus' suffering in light of the marginalization of LGBT people.
This series of stations combine images depicting the struggle for LGBT equality through the 20th and 21st century. Each station illustrates the many ways in which the pursuit of justice for LGBT peoples is embedded in the history of the United States.
Click here to learn more, or download these images for use in your congregation.
More Lenten Articles:
Body and Soul: We Belong
In increasing numbers, Christians are searching for a faithful response in the church’s conversation about what it means to welcome and affirm people of all sexual identities and gender expressions. This video resource invites viewers to explore that question through six themes central to the Reformed tradition that are woven through the liturgies and confessional standards of the Reformed Church in America. We have created a downloadable discussion guide and encourage you to make use of it as you view the accompanying videos, pausing after each section to engage in reflection and conversation. The questions provided are based on the video content, Scripture, and Reformed confessions or liturgies. Download the discussion guide (pdf) and the complete video series (mp4 files). The series is also available on DVD for $15 plus shipping.
Faith in Action
Case dropped in church prosecution of scholar; bishop vows “cessation of trials”
At a joint press conference today, United Methodist Bishop Martin McLee and Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree announced that the church was dropping the case against Dr. Ogletree for officiating at his son’s wedding. In a huge victory for the Methodist movement that is organizing ministry to all couples on an equal basis in open defiance of church law, the bishop dropped the case without any conditions. Furthermore, Bishop McLee said in his statement “I call for and commit to cessation of trials,” the first time ever a sitting United Methodist bishop has categorically declared he will not prosecute pastors for ministering to LGBTQ people.
Level Ground:A Safe Space for Dialog through Art
Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. Level Ground is becoming a national innovator in film festival programming, art curation, and dialogue.
The name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of Isaiah. The name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred, though likely uncomfortable, level ground.
We believe safe space is integral for transforming how we see each other and create a world of peace and civility together. Level Ground works with artists and communities, curating art that tells stories and fosters reconciliation.
Goodbye to David Cupps
The new year is always an exciting time. We get to look forward to new futures and new possibilities. This New Year's is a little bittersweet though. After more than three years of excellent service on the staff of Integrity, our Operations Manager, David Cupps, will be moving on to new opportunities.
We are sad to see him go. He has served as the core for many systems and groups that have not only served Integrity well, but that have served the Episcopal Church well. “During the year when we had no Executive Director, David really kept the organization going, and I depended on him for his wisdom, knowledge, and leadership as well as for doing everything it takes to make Integrity run smoothly,” said the Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall, president of Integrity's Board of Directors.
2013's Top Ten Moments in Christian Faith & LGBTQ Equality
This year has brought unprecedented progress toward LGBTQ inclusion and equality in the United States and around the world. Even as we gain traction in our work, debates over Christian faith and LGBTQ equality persist.
Here are the top ten moments from these conversations in 2013:
10. Pope Francis Shifts LGBTQ Dialogue In Catholic Church
In August 2013, Pope Francis surprised the world by asking a simple question on the topic of gay priests: "Who am I to judge?" The next month, he challenged the Catholic Church to focus more on becoming a "home for all" than topics like homosexuality. Pope Francis has yet to affirm LGBTQ identity, and he continues to uphold the Catholic definition of marriage, but his change in tone is undoubtedly shifting dialogue on LGBTQ equality in the Catholic Church.
Big LGBT faith moments of 2013
2013 was a big year for LGBT equality, and the LGBT religious movement had several significant moments as well. Take a look at the list below:
"In Our Fullness: Faith and Activism Across Difference"
Produced by the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in partnership with the Macalester College Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship.
For more information: info@WelcomingResources.org
Additional Ecumenical & Multi-Faith Groups Convened by IWR
New & Timely Resources
Resources from IWR Available
Building an Inclusive Church
Training and a Toolkit
A Welcoming Toolkit 2.0 – Updated and greatly expanded!
Drawing upon thirty years of experience within a variety of Christian denominations, this Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help facilitate a Welcoming Process in your local congregation. Biblically and theologically based, it uses tools of relational organizing, congregational assessment, conflict management and change theory.
AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!
Building an Inclusive Church
Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater
by David R. Weiss
The overwhelming message of the Bible, in story after story, is that of God’s radical love and welcome. Every time we think we know who’s in and who’s out, God does something to challenge those assumptions, to unbind our hearts and minds from old ways of understanding, and to draw the circle ever wider.
HEARTS UNBOUND invites you to explore ten of those inspiring stories of radical love and welcome. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and some of the insights to be gained.
Designed to be used as a small-group Bible study, HEARTS UNBOUND uses the format of Reader’s Theater. But fear not… no costumes, sets, or refined acting chops needed! All you need are six to eight people around a table, reading the script, having fun, all the while learning a great deal in the process.
All ten sessions are available for free download below.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, HRC y UNID@S presentan nueva guía bilingüe dirigida a familias e iglesias latinas para educar sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia
En un esfuerzo por promover el diálogo dentro de las familias e iglesias latinas sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia, el National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, la Campaña de Derechos Humanos y UNID@S, presentaron hoy una nueva guía bilingüe, A La Familia, Una Conversación Sobre Nuestras Familias, la Biblia, la Orientación Sexual y la Identidad de Género en una conferencia de prensa durante la 82va convención nacional de la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC por sus siglas en inglés) en Cincinnati, Ohio.
"LULAC está en contra de todo tipo de discriminación. Me siento muy orgullosa de mi estado natal al aprobar los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo", dijo Ralina Cardona, directora estatal de Nueva York para LULAC. "Como americanos, tenemos que aceptar nuestras diferencias. Es lo que separa a este gran país. No todos somos de la misma cultura, color, orientación sexual o religión, pero todos somos americanos y en nuestra unidad está nuestra fuerza, pero en nuestras diferencias está nuestro poder".
Más artículos sobre A La Familia en español
HRC, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and UNID@S release new bilingual guide on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible for Latino/a families and churches
In an effort to foster a dialogue with Latino/a families and churches on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UNID@S, unveiled today a new bilingual guide, A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at a press conference during the League of United Latin American Citizens' 82nd National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people often face unique challenges in Latino/a families and churches. To help in the process of acceptance and inclusion, A La Familia is born out of a profound desire to faithfully integrate an excluded group of people back into the life of their churches and families. This guide is written for two primary audiences: heterosexual people honestly struggling with LGBT issues and the Bible, and those whose sexual orientation and gender identity have marginalized them within their family or church or even both.
Before God, We Are All Family: a companion film for A La Familia
The new short film, Before God: We are all Family is a story of reconciliation that documents the compelling journey of five Latino families who reconcile their unbreakable love for each other and their deep commitment to living faithful lives in the face of religious-based intolerance of those with different sexual orientations and gender identities. See the preview below.
For more information about Before God, We Are All Family, click here.
The Institute for Welcoming Resources is delighted to be a partner in the transdenominational Believe Out Loud campaign. Believe Out Loud provides a much-needed national network for churches committed to welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as beloved children of God.
Believe OUT LOUD is based in a simple truth: Privately believing that LGBT persons should have an equal share in our church and society is not enough; we must publicly proclaim that belief. Believe OUT LOUD gives the congregations, parishes and missions of our denominations the means to do exactly that.
New Believe OUT LOUD web site!