This workshop will prepare your church to have helpful and healthful dialogue with practical ways to better engage with LGBTQ brothers, sisters and friends. Dialogue will range from identifying terms used today about sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as topics that may arise within the context of faith. Refer to section descriptions below for more information.
Dialogue vs Discussion– Begin by establishing a posture of humility and respect
Sexual Orientation– Definitions of commonly used terms
Distinctions between Attraction, Behavior, and Identity
Christian Theological Issues
Touch on varying perspectives of persons identifying as both Christian and same-sex attracted
Common scripture and interpretations often used in these discussions
Define gender identity and gender expression
Identify gender identity from sexual identity
Increase knowledge about sex development
Reflection on created beings in God’s image
Mental Health and Health Disparities– “The disparities in both mental and physical health that are seen between LGBT and heterosexual and non-gender- variant youth are influenced largely by their experiences of stigma and discrimination during the development of their sexual orientation and gender identity and throughout the life course.” – Institute of Medicine, 2011
This section highlights connections between mental health, experiences, and health disparities.
Stigma and Shame
Affirming and Welcoming– Religious communities address members of the LGBT community with varying degrees of openness (affirm, welcome, or deny). This session provides practical ways in which congregations can become more affirming or welcoming.
Tough Topics– Overview of common topics to think about, experiences of LGBTQ individuals you may not have thought about before. (bathroom bills, gay marriage, legal issues, denominational concerns)
Discernment– “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment” – Philippians 1:9
Walk through tools that will be useful in navigating conversations in your faith community
*Deadline for registration is November 8th, so register now!