Gay Christian Conference Day 2

5 01 2008

Surprisingly enough, I woke up in time to attend most of the first session, which started off with more worship and prayer. The keynote speaker Friday morning was a Pentecostal preacher from Birmingham who had a wonderful sermon and testimony about his life and how he has integrated his faith and sexuality. He brings the phrase “audacity of hope” to new levels.

I skipped the second session, deciding to visit a colleague in Washington, DC for lunch, who just so happens to be a big advocate for PFLAG in the area and is a member of the United Church of Christ.

I returned in time for the 3rd session where we broke into small groups.

Offerings were “The Bible and Homosexuality: a Side A view” led by Justin, our founder. Others included “Women’s fellowship”, a workshop for bloggers which i attended, a session for the Side B contingent and one called “The Prodigal in us all”

GCN contains two camps: Side A and Side B. Side A is for those who believe same-sex relationships are blessed by God, which is by far the majority. Side B, a distinct minority, is for those who have embraced who they are as GLBT people, but believe that monogamous heterosexual relationships are God’s intention for humanity, thus they prefer to live a life of celibacy and draw support from each other in non-sexual but loving and affectionate friendships. The two sides do not try to “convert” the other, but maintain a healthy respect and agree to disagree. Many people start off as Side B and then move over to Side A. Side B folks deal with a lot of internalized homophobia or are ex-gay survivors or have a very strict interpretation of Scripture. However, we all recognize that in spite of these differences of opinions, we are one in Christ, so while there can be a tension between the two groups at times, there is no real animosity. The small group session I went to was for the bloggers. We shared and exchanged ideas what we used our blogs for, how anonymous or open we were about our identities and ways to increase readership if desired.

Afterwards a group of us went to dinner and i wound up having a great conversation with an Anglican priest from Australia and another fellow Episcopalian who is in the Discernment process in the Diocese of Washington (Episco-dar again). We wound up missing the final session for the day which was a concert by someone named RJHelton which i heard was very well received. Afterwards of course there was the fellowship at the bar where our lovely waitress, Sam, serenaded us with her mandolin for a bit, and then once the bar closed we retired for the speakeasy convention.

Anyone noticing a pattern at this conference?

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