Four of us from the Blue Ocean Faith, Ann Arbor staff team attended the Gay Christian Network Conference (GCN) January 7-10, 2016 in Houston, Texas. This incredible gathering of over 1500 people inspired and uplifted. GCN revealed how people with great ideological and experiential differences can come together and worship in acceptance of one another. Perhaps in part because of the sting most people had experienced from mainstream Christian culture around the acceptance of LGBTQ people, the worship and conversations were rich with God’s presence. During the conference, Pastors Emily Swan and Ken Wilson were invited to give a workshop on Third Way. Emily and Ken invited Cassie Brabbs, our worship leader, and me to share about going Third Way. My portion is included here and reflects some insights around power and privilege that I gained as we transitioned towards full inclusion.
“What conference are you here for?” the respectable looking woman in the elevator inquired, innocently enough. We three middle aged men with the GCN conference lanyards around our necks stole a quick glance before one of us answered, “The Gay Christian Network,” hoping for the best. The woman stepped back reflexively, raised her eyebrows and saucer-eyed us while letting out a drawn-out Texan, “Ohhh…,” a word pregnant with polite discomfort. We smiled and stared at the floor until the doors opened. Continue reading
One of the frustrations I have discovered writing about LGBT questions from a Third Way perspective is that I, and many of us who take this perspective at present, end up writing from the standpoint of the “strong”. As a result, I am constantly in danger of coming off as condescending (a perennial temptation for “the strong”) and am regularly accused of arguing for an approach which would privilege my take on the relevant theology. Continue reading