Towards a Welcoming & Inclusive Church
A Time to Build Up
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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:
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A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions
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Embodying Our Faith
Stations Of The Cross: The Struggle For LGBT Equality
Stations of the Cross are a series of artistic representations of the Passion of Christ, depicting the story of his death from his sentencing to the laying of his body in the tomb. The fourteen images are used devotionally during the Lenten season for prayer and reflection.
The stations provide an opportunity for Christians to enter into the story of Christ's suffering and experience a relationship with a God who suffers with us.
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.
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
A Remembrance of Jack Cover
I met Jack through the church as have many people. Jack believed that God’s love was for everyone, no exceptions, no one left out of God’s love and God’s embrace. And, this strongly held belief by Jack became the signature of his life.
Jack had learned that some people had been given reason to doubt God’s love for them by the Church, the same Church that had taught Jack of God’s love for him and everyone else. So Jack joined the local chapter of More Light Presbyterians to make sure that LGBT people and their families knew they were part of God’s good creation and loved by God. Jack became a passionate ally in the equality movement in both the Church and society.
Interfaith Vigil International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2014
The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups in collaboration with Progetto Gionata is pleased to present you the toolkit for the preparation of the vigil of prayer and meditation for the International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia 2014 on 17 May.
The group or the community you belong to is invited to mark the day with a vigil service or a prayer meeting in order to raise your voice against homophobia/transphobia and to join in a global call to pray for those societies where homosexual and transexual persons still face violence, death and discriminations and for the inclusiveness and acceptance in all societies and cultures.
RMN prepares for beloved staff member farewell
Reconciling Ministries Network celebrates the service of a prominent staff leader as she announces her departure.
After five years of service and the Called to Witness and Love Your Neighbor campaigns to mobilize United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to work for full LGBTQ inclusion in The UMC, RMN program director and UMC deaconess Rachel Harvey will be leaving RMN at the end of May. Prior to joining RMN in the fall of 2009, Rachel spent five years organizing in local conference Reconciling teams in South Dakota and New York. She also worked with the General Board of Global Ministries, Response magazine/United Methodist Women, and was a US-2 missionary serving as the director of a Reconciling campus ministry.
James Rowe Named New Director Of Believe Out Loud
Intersections International is pleased to announce the appointment of James Rowe as the new Director of Believe Out Loud. Prior to his new appointment, James served as both the Community Outreach Director and Acting Director for Believe Out Loud, working closely with faith leaders, movement organizers and welcoming churches across the country to advance LGBT equality from a Christian perspective.
Rowe came to Intersections in 2010 when he served as executive assistant to both the founding director and director of operations. Prior to Intersections, he was a seasoned event planner overseeing events for the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (2004 – 2007) and Gilda’s Club New York City (2002 – 2004). He also led development and volunteer programs within interfaith and LGBT equality institutions including the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which advocates for LGBTQ youth. Based in New York City, Rowe is a student of American Sign Language and serves as both a Board Member and sign language interpreter for the historic Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, the country’s longest-running women’s choir.
"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!