Can We Talk?

Sep 22, 2012   //   by AdminAssistant   //   Blog, Home  //  No Comments

By Theresa D. McClellan
Faith Advocacy Coordinator
“Gay Christian? Yes! Campaign

I love the fall.  This is an exciting time when we start preparing the earth, laying the groundwork and nurturing the land for the promise of future blooms.

Such is the work of our fall season with GIFT. This is an exciting time as we create and collaborate with others. This is the time we nurture one another with the hope of future allies and  stronger lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith. We pray for and act to help create a stronger and vibrant church community where all God’s children are welcomed, encouraged and allowed to share their God-given gifts.  Some upcoming new programs seem like answers to prayer.

After a summer break, our support group for all ages – GRITS – held its first meeting of the new season in September. It was an exciting session with good conversation including one with an ally from a conservative church who wanted to know how to get the conversation going in his church. It is always inspiring and hopeful when allies join the conversation. All are welcome.

GRITS has decided to meet twice a month on Wednesdays with the first session of the month allowing more time for talking and support and the second session with more time to explore issues and get to know one another better with activities. To that end we are exploring discussions following specific movies. Other second session events could include book clubs, dinners, outings, speakers. Give us your ideas as we look forward to seeing old and new faces on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Vine at the First Place Building, 207 East Fulton Street.

It was wonderful that an ally wanted to know how to get more involved and we provided mutual encouragement. Here is another fantastic opportunity for all people of faith who want to learn how to have the conversation in their church communities. The nationally recognized Institute for Welcoming Resources will hold its “Building an Inclusive Church”  three-day conference in Grand Rapids on October 27-29 at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 514 Eastern Ave. SE.

Through sound Biblical and theological education, faith-based community organizing skills, meaningful worship, and discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexuality and transgender issues, this conference will prove helpful to lay leaders, clergy, denominational leaders and members and leaders in denominational LGBT groups.

The premise of the conference comes from the belief that “every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to be honored as a beloved child of God and celebrated at Christ’s Table.”

“Building an Inclusive Church” offers powerful tools to help the Church be the church it is meant to be – just, loving and extravagantly welcome.”

This is exciting news for West Michigan. The $25 conference is hosted by “All One Body” and “Room For All,” two inclusive-building groups that come from the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church of America faith traditions.  The conference is open to all denominations and organizers are hoping to attract a large number of people from various Western Michigan churches and denominations, said Sheryl Mulder spokesperson for All One Body.

She said both the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church of America have “the same current struggles with the official stances on LGBT issues within our denomination and we are working towards helping our denominations begin to dialog and listen to different viewpoints.”

Mulder said she recognizes that the Christian Reformed Church “has a lot of work to do” to be fully inclusive. ”We feel that baby steps are what we are hoping for at this point. We also recognized that change on the current stance of the Christian Reformed Church will be much more effective if it is created from the ground up (laity) versus from the top down (Synod).”  She is hopeful that members of the Christian Reformed Church will engage in the conference.

The Institute is an ecumenical consortium of denominations in the Welcoming Movement. They have full scholarships available and the deadline to register is October 11. So make this a wonderful National Coming Out Day present to yourself and register.

I know I intend to go. I hope to see you there. For more information and to register for the conference visit

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Faith & Sexuality Series: Engaging our Sacred Texts

Join us for a Faith & Sexuality Series during our GRITS adult meetings on Wednesday evenings during the month of February. This series will be lead by Gregory Eran Gronbacher, a gay Jewish man with a passion for theological study and discourse.

We will be encouraged to engage the Scriptures in new ways and glean from the perspectives of one another. This series is sponsored by the Gay Christian? Yes! campaign and GIFT. It is free and open to the public!

Dates: 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, and 2/26
Time: 7-9pm
Location: 207 E. Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(Turn North onto Barclay, turn into the top parking lot and head down to the bottom parking lot. The door is closest to the sidewalk on Fulton.)

Identify. Tell me why. GCY!

Need to create your video? All it takes is a webcam and five minutes of your time.

Using YouTube (or another preferred video hosting site), you record a web or phone cam video of yourself. Just tell us who you are. LGBT+? Ally?

Tell me why.
Explain why the “Gay Christian? Yes!” message resonates with you. What is your story? How do you find yourself reconciling your spiritual walk, your involvement in a church community, and the various other aspects of your humanity? Allies too! What message of hope can you offer your Christian LGBT friends and neighbors?

Affirm that you are among those who unconditionally recognize the sacred worth of each person and fully welcome all into the life and community of the church by saying “Gay Christian? Yes!” and/or by making a whimsical sign with the GCY name and website to hold up at the end of your video

Submit a link to your video at
or via email:

More helpful hints can be found by clicking on "Videos" above, and then on "How to Upload and Share your video"

Make your video today, and join the many voices proclaiming:
"Gay Christian? YES!"


Donate to the Campaign

The “Gay Christian? Yes!” Campaign needs your financial support. Gays In Faith Together (GIFT) runs the Campaign. GIFT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. US donations are eligible for tax deduction. Send your check to

207 East Fulton
Grand Rapid, MI 49503

Or donate by credit card by clicking on this button:

Note that your donation is for the GCY Campaign.

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