Intersection of Christianity,
LGBT Identity, and it's
Impact on Youth

Download Powerpoint

This talk was delivered Dec. 2, 2014 at Rock Valley College.  The Video and Other Resources related to this lecture are listed in the additional resource area below.
This page was last updated: December 14, 2014

Reconciling Journey Study Series (complete resources for running this 9-session study)
Starting a Reconciling Journey Small Group Fellowship In Your Area
Taking a Chance on God Study Series (complete resources for running this 5-session study)
If you are interested in this, feel free to contact us for help and any information you need to get started.

The following information contains links to study materials that we developed for our original small group ministry.  Listed below are the resources you need to get your Reconciling Journey Small Group Ministry up and running.   The following contains tips on what worked for us and our group.


Study Order & Design
It is recommended that you start with the Reconciling Journey Series to be followed by Taking a Chance on God.  The study guides are designed as both a series and as stand-alone inquiries.  This design enables new members to be easily added to the group at any point within the series.  Please do not hesitate to recruit new members into the group at any point within the series. 

Come as You Are Participation
Another important design component is that each session can be enjoyed successfuly with zero preparation.  Please be sure to let participants know that they do not need workbooks, to have read or studied in advance, or to be prepared in anyway.  Our goal with every session is to enable highly engaged COME AS YOU ARE participation.  Our design enables your small group to consistently grow and reach out to new potential members. 

In-Depth Inquiry
The RJ Study can also be used in combination with the Reconciling Journey Devotional Workbook.  The workbook's original intent was to help someone work through a very intense 9-week self exploration and spiritual inquiry.  The workbook can be incorporated to more deeply explore each session's topics irrespective of your meeting frequency.

Study Length
The Reconciling Journey Study is a 9-session series and the Taking a Chance on God is a 5-session series.  However, each of these studies is rich with inquiry and could easily be expanded into any number of sessions you desire.

Meeting Frequency
As you design your small group, you can choose any meeting frequency to which your group would be committed.  Our experience has been that monthly meeting frequencies works best for several reasons;  1)  Members highly value and more deeply commit to regular attendance when the meeting time is more rare/occasional.  2) Members are often already over-committed to other social and church obligations.  3) Less frequent meeetings allows interested members more time for deep personal inquiry and preparation. 

Reconciling Journey Support & Assistance
We are here to help you be successful as you launch your new or continued ministry to the GLBTQA community.  We are happy to consult via phone, text, email, Google+, Groupme, or in person.  Please contact us at anytime.   We can offer training to your small group facilitators and ideas for helping to successful launch and/or grow your ministry.  Reconciling Journey will continue to develop additional study series and facilitation guides based on member feedback. Thank you for answering this important call to service.  We are confident God will abundantly bless you and your members as you begin your own Reconciling Journey. 
Sharing, Fighting, Loving, & Praying for Couples (complete resources for running this workshop)
PowerPoint Slides

Couples Workshop Slides




Reconciling Journey Ministries

RESOURCES
The following recources are for those who are wanting to...

start a small group fellowship in your area
**YES you can do this and help others too!

-  download RJ study materials for your own use

find local/national GLBT organizations/recources  
The Gay Christian Network- Hosts a weekly internet radio show, offers Bible study resources, prayer support, online sermons, and a supportive community of GLBT Christians from across the theological spectrum. Maintains a list of gay-welcoming churches at WelcomingChurches.com, and hosts an annual conference each January providing opportunities for worship, study, and fellowship.

The Christian Closet (www.thechristiancloset.com)
This is run by one of our previous group members and she gave us the following information on it:
"I hope to be a safe place where individuals, couples, and families find a place to process, find healing, and ultimately freedom to be themselves more fully and love deeper through web-therapy and my blog articles.  I meet with people from all over the world for therapy over Skype and am grateful I get to journey with so many amazing people.
I am also writing a resource for parents called "The First 90 Days"  (http://first90days.tumblr.com) and it can also be found on my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheChristianCloset?ref=hl.
This is a devotion guide to help parents in the first 3 months after their child comes out as LGBTQ.
Check my resources out and pass along the info to anyone who might need it, especially to church leaders as they are the one's often coming in contact with closeted people who need such support.

The Fellowship - The Fellowship is a trans-denominational fellowship of primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing churches and faith-based organizations from all parts of the country.  The overriding purpose of The Fellowship is to support religious leaders and laity in moving towards a theology of radical inclusivity which, by its very nature, requires an equally radical social ministry reaching to the furthest margins of society to serve all in need without prejudice or discrimination.

Soul Force - The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.  They have a Anti-GLBT Watch, engage Christian colleges in dialogue, organize conferences, and offer a variety of video and print resources.  Co-founded by Mel White.

HRC's Out in Scripture - Provides weekly insights into the Bible from a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight-supportive perspective. Provides faithful and thoughtful help for preachers and other persons of faith as they work for a more compassionate, just and inclusive society.

Whosoever Magazine - Online magazine and sacred space for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians to reclaim, rekindle and grow their relationship with God.

Truth Sets Free - An inclusive, ecumenical Christian outreach to GLBTQ Christians, friends, and family. Developed by the author of the booklet The Bible, Christianity, and Homosexuality which argues the Bible doesn't condemn faithful gay relationships.

Evangelicals Concerned (EC) - Safe place for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians to reconcile and integrate their faith and sexuality. As a non-denominational community, EC encourages spiritual growth for anyone on their journey of faith through conferences, local groups, bible studies, and educational resources.

Gay Church - Contains one of the largest world-wide gay "welcoming" Christian church directories and gay Christian bulletin boards in the world. They have an annual "Welcoming Church Survey" that gives an excellent history and update on the reconciling, affirming, welcoming movement. The site also contains in-depth studies on reconciling ones faith and sexual orientation. Many articles are presented in both English and Spanish.

Christian Lesbians - Proclaims the Good News of Jesus and God's unconditional and abiding love for all people.  Offers information and resources for women presently struggling to reconcile their faith and sexuality. Creates fellowship and support for Christian Lesbians, many of whom feel isolated by living in "the closet" or from having experienced rejection from family, friends and their own church community.


Denomination Specific Organizations:

Lutherans Concerned North America - LC/NA's mission is to embody, inspire, and support the acceptance and full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, their families, friends and allies, within the Lutheran communion and its ecumenical and global partners.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America - ELCA's journey on issues of human sexuality

Dignity USA - Gay Catholics - working for change through education, advocacy, support

United Church of Christ - 30 yrs Open & Affirming movement (10% of UCC's are O&A)

Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBT Concerns  - Encourages more inclusive policies for GLBT people within the church.

The Reconciling Ministries Network - A coalition of GLBT-inclusive UMC congregations and ministries that offers contact information for GLBT-friendly churches around the United States.

The Fellowship - The Fellowship is a trans-denominational fellowship of primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing churches and faith-based organizations from all parts of the country.  The overriding purpose of The Fellowship is to support religious leaders and laity in moving towards a theology of radical inclusivity which, by its very nature, requires an equally radical social ministry reaching to the furthest margins of society to serve all in need without prejudice or discrimination.

Baptist (welcoming and affirming congregations)

Catholic  (Dignity USA)

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Lutheran  (reconciling in Christ)

UCC (open and affirming)


Other International Christian Organizations:
Inspiritus  - Dutch
Christian Gays - Canadian
Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian & Gay Christians  - British


Other Organizations:
National Center for Transgender Equality
If you know of other resources that should be added to this list, please sent the information to Ronda at rdevold@hotmail with the subject RJ resources and I will try to get it added as soon as I can.
Intersection of Christianity, GLBT Identity, and the Impact on Youth
Intersection of Christianity, GLBT Identiy, and the Impact on Youth
Video - 60 minute talk delivered by Stacy McCaskill,  Reconciling Journey Executive Director and Associate Professor, Rock Valley College December 2, 2014.

Part 1 of the video Part 2 of the videoPart 3 of the video
 
Resources utilized in the preparation of this lecture are provided below:

Parent's Influence on the Health of LGBT Teens
Growing Up LGBT in America Report
So You Stil Think Homosexuality is Sinful -- Graphic Flow-Chart
National Survey of LGBT Homeless and At-Risk Youth

The topic description of this talk and content of the slide presentation provided above is...  According to the Pew Research Center nearly 78.5% of Americans identify as Christian.  Even though support for gay-marriage (one measure of GLBT acceptance) in 2011 exceed the percentage of Americans that opposed gay-marriage, nearly 95% of Christian churches still stand in opposition to homosexuality or at best fail to advocate for GLBT equality within the church. 

Youth often have little choice over the religious traditions in which they are raised, exposing most GLBT youth to disaffirming and often hurtful messages about their self-worth and value within community, church, and family.  Many well-meaning Christians and faith-based organizations are unknowingly contributing to religious-abuse resulting in higher rates of depression, suicide, self-hurt, and other forms of psychological and physical damage to GLBT youth. 

Deep spiritual and familial hurt often carries over into adulthood causing a life-long struggle to reconcile one’s faith identity with sexual orientation.  This lecture carefully and graciously explores those sources of hurt and provides an introduction to the organizations and church movements working to reverse this hurtful impact.