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A Christian Thing to Do Ministry with LGBT young adults.

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Presentation on theme: "A Christian Thing to Do Ministry with LGBT young adults."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Christian Thing to Do Ministry with LGBT young adults

2 Its only love … guy who happens to be gay … I wish you could understand … I m sick of feeling totally alone, I want to have friends who like me for who I am, want a family who loves me for who I am and not someone I pretend to be to keep their love … I m sick of hiding, of being sad, and scared … Do you have any idea … there must be more of you who feel like this, like I do … just speak out … I m gay … sorry mom, dad … you can bet you re not the only parents with a gay son … It s only love, what s everyone so scared about? -Get Real

3 This conversation is essential.

4 Why should this matter to me? When individuals are lost, confused, vulnerable, or hurt, they turn to several sources: Family Friends Ministers Educators Counselors When individuals are lost, confused, vulnerable, or hurt, they turn to several sources: Family Friends Ministers Educators Counselors

5 What We Face Lesser Christian Less human Sinner Abomination

6 Gay Youth Statistics 33% of all teen suicides are within the LGBT community (Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey (1999). Massachusetts Department of Education, Health, Safety, and Student Support Services. and 50% of LGBT youth risk being rejected by their families (Governors Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. (1994). Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Breaking the Silence in Schools and in Families. Feb. 25, pages Boston, Massachusetts. 33% of all teen suicides are within the LGBT community (Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey (1999). Massachusetts Department of Education, Health, Safety, and Student Support Services. and 50% of LGBT youth risk being rejected by their families (Governors Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. (1994). Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Breaking the Silence in Schools and in Families. Feb. 25, pages Boston, Massachusetts.

7 80% of students harassed about their sexual orientation identify as heterosexual. (Safe Schools Coalition of Washington. (1999). 83,000 Youth Survey: Selected findings out of eight population-based studies. 90% of school related shootings involve boys being taunted with anti-gay epithets for being quiet or different. (Kimmel, Michael S., Mahler, Michael. (2003). Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence – Random School Shootings, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 46, No. 10, AND Vossekuil, B., Fein, R. A., Ph.D., et. al. (2002). Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the US. The US Secret Service and the US Department of Education. Washington, DC. 80% of students harassed about their sexual orientation identify as heterosexual. (Safe Schools Coalition of Washington. (1999). 83,000 Youth Survey: Selected findings out of eight population-based studies. 90% of school related shootings involve boys being taunted with anti-gay epithets for being quiet or different. (Kimmel, Michael S., Mahler, Michael. (2003). Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence – Random School Shootings, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 46, No. 10, AND Vossekuil, B., Fein, R. A., Ph.D., et. al. (2002). Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the US. The US Secret Service and the US Department of Education. Washington, DC.

8 The Love/Hate Fallacy Many Christians have been taught the misconception that being gay is a sin. They are often told to love the sinner, but hate the sin. But, is it possible to incorporate this when talking about sexual identity?

9 Biblical understanding of ideal love Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

10 What does hate/hatred look like? Oxford Dictionary verb: 1: feel intense dislike for or a strong aversion towards noun: 1: intense dislike; strong aversion 2: before a noun denoting hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice Wikipedia.com An unending desire to avoid, remove, restrict the person. Oxford Dictionary verb: 1: feel intense dislike for or a strong aversion towards noun: 1: intense dislike; strong aversion 2: before a noun denoting hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice Wikipedia.com An unending desire to avoid, remove, restrict the person.

11 Can the two coexist?

12 Love is patient, love is kind. Intense revulsion, distaste, enmity. Love is patient, love is kind. Intense revulsion, distaste, enmity.

13 Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Disgust. Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Disgust.

14 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. An unending desire to avoid, remove, restrict the person. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. An unending desire to avoid, remove, restrict the person.

15 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Prejudice, condemnation. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Prejudice, condemnation.

16 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Fear, misunderstanding. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Fear, misunderstanding.

17 Is it possible?

18 Effects rejection can have Many of us have been kicked out of a group, ministry, or church simply for loving beyond the norm … the pain can be a trauma. G A traumatic event is an experience that goes beyond our ability to cope. G Trauma and its experience is individual; it will vary from person to person G The teachings of the Church and the negative reactions of others can lead to: G trauma and shame self hate … internalized homophobia G excessive guilt = never good enough G alienation and isolation G acceptance based on a condition G greater anxiety G lower self esteem G suicide G limbo feeling - world in question G sense of worthlessness G belief that one deserves to be mistreated G God hates me. Many of us have been kicked out of a group, ministry, or church simply for loving beyond the norm … the pain can be a trauma. G A traumatic event is an experience that goes beyond our ability to cope. G Trauma and its experience is individual; it will vary from person to person G The teachings of the Church and the negative reactions of others can lead to: G trauma and shame self hate … internalized homophobia G excessive guilt = never good enough G alienation and isolation G acceptance based on a condition G greater anxiety G lower self esteem G suicide G limbo feeling - world in question G sense of worthlessness G belief that one deserves to be mistreated G God hates me.

19 G Social and interpersonal harm G Alienation, loneliness, and social isolation G Loss of social supports G Physical and verbal abuse, hate crimes G Spiritual harm G Loss of faith G Sense of betrayal from religious leaders G Anger at clinicians who introduced punitive and shaming concepts of GOD G excommunication G Social and interpersonal harm G Alienation, loneliness, and social isolation G Loss of social supports G Physical and verbal abuse, hate crimes G Spiritual harm G Loss of faith G Sense of betrayal from religious leaders G Anger at clinicians who introduced punitive and shaming concepts of GOD G excommunication

20 Being abandoned by the faith community into which one is born is devastating … if our faith meant nothing to us, we would have just walked away … for many of us our faith and spiritual heritage cannot be simply left behind … like our sexual orientation, our faith and spiritual heritage are integral part of our lives (Loseke & Cavendish, 2001, p. 350).

21 What can I do if I have a LGBT relative, friend, or classmate?

22 What is an ally? An ally, as defined by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, is a straight person aware of and in support of positive LGBT issues. These things include the right to marry, the right to serve openly in the armed services, the inclusion of LGBT individuals in worship, or simplifying the adoption process.

23 Why be an ally? Scripture tells us to be an ally. Jesus was an ally. Its the Christian thing to do.

24 What does the Bible say? Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Matthew 22:34-39

25 One of the overarching themes in the Bible is Gods love for creation expressed through Jesus. Scriptures teach us to love and serve each other as Christ did. Jesus embraced all who were outsiders such as tax collectors, prostitutes, foreigners, and those who were considered to be unclean by society.

26 Jesus As An Ally

27 Matthew 25:41-45 Then He will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in… I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

28 Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

29 Jesus ministry as a model to follow Circle widener Met people where they were socially, spiritually, emotionally…notice how each of these words ends in ally Did not impose conditions onto those He reached out to…only to love –John 13: 34 Circle widener Met people where they were socially, spiritually, emotionally…notice how each of these words ends in ally Did not impose conditions onto those He reached out to…only to love –John 13: 34

30 How To Be A Personal Ally Love the person. Self awareness: recognize ones own personal biases and internalized homophobia. (We all have it.) Create safe and empowering spaces- no judgments. Education: Research facts so as to debunk myths & misunderstandings. Love the person. Self awareness: recognize ones own personal biases and internalized homophobia. (We all have it.) Create safe and empowering spaces- no judgments. Education: Research facts so as to debunk myths & misunderstandings.

31 Get to know resources within the community for referrals Campus: Inclusion is not complete by saying we allow gay students on campus…it is not toleration but celebration. Campus: provide forums/spaces/ classes for all viewpoints and perspectives to be considered…challenge people to think outside the box. Get to know resources within the community for referrals Campus: Inclusion is not complete by saying we allow gay students on campus…it is not toleration but celebration. Campus: provide forums/spaces/ classes for all viewpoints and perspectives to be considered…challenge people to think outside the box.

32 Abide by professional ethics recognize the inherent worth of the individual. do not treat the person as if they had a disease, were broken, or are abnormal. respect the individuals self determination…serve as a guide to the best decision for the individual. do not impose beliefs onto individual. begin where the individual is on their journey…respect their journey Be mindful of language Words that are generally off-limits: Homosexual, Homosexuality = clinical terms that reduce person to behavior Better choices: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender; Sexual orientation; Gender identity Abide by professional ethics recognize the inherent worth of the individual. do not treat the person as if they had a disease, were broken, or are abnormal. respect the individuals self determination…serve as a guide to the best decision for the individual. do not impose beliefs onto individual. begin where the individual is on their journey…respect their journey Be mindful of language Words that are generally off-limits: Homosexual, Homosexuality = clinical terms that reduce person to behavior Better choices: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender; Sexual orientation; Gender identity

33 Benefits of Gay-Affirming Help RPsychological benefits RIncreased sense of hope RInsight RCoping strategies RImprovement of self esteem RSocial benefits RIncreased sense of belonging RImproved relationships with family and friends RSpiritual benefits RSense of well-being RFeeling embraced and affirmed by the Divine RBeing able to believe and live…GOD loves me… GOD dont make no junk RPsychological benefits RIncreased sense of hope RInsight RCoping strategies RImprovement of self esteem RSocial benefits RIncreased sense of belonging RImproved relationships with family and friends RSpiritual benefits RSense of well-being RFeeling embraced and affirmed by the Divine RBeing able to believe and live…GOD loves me… GOD dont make no junk

34 Resources RResearch: RJournal of Lesbian and Gay studies RNASW, APA, ASA RWebsites: Rwww.soulforce.orgwww.soulforce.org Rwww.transfaithonline.orgwww.transfaithonline.org RGroups: RNew Ways ministry RIntegrity RDignity RMore Light RReconciling communities RResearch: RJournal of Lesbian and Gay studies RNASW, APA, ASA RWebsites: Rwww.soulforce.orgwww.soulforce.org Rwww.transfaithonline.orgwww.transfaithonline.org RGroups: RNew Ways ministry RIntegrity RDignity RMore Light RReconciling communities

35 What does the Christian thing to do look like?

36 In all those times of wrestling with tough issues, with Church leaders, with each other, with disease, I have been pinned down and squeezed, touched, massaged, embraced, cuddled, and, yes, pleasured by a challenging and ever-loving God. I have been transformed and reconciled. No longer frightened or ashamed, I am learning to confide in God s love and the love of my fellow wrestlers. After the match is over, I look forward to walking humbly with my God, even if it is with a limp (Calegari, 1994, p. 9).

37 Produced by Delfin Bautista, M.Div candidate 09 Yale Divinity School In conjunction with course requirements for Pastoral Care with Young Adults, Instructor, Kristen Leslie, PhD. Send inquiries to


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