A LOVEboldly Thanksgiving

loveboldlythanksgivingThe previous few weeks have been difficult and heavy. I’m sure that, like me, many of you have been bombarded with story after story of injustices, hate-crimes and hate-groups, and fear, sorrow, and outrage in the wake of the election.Right now, it’s harder than ever to have real, honest, productive, civil conversations about topics that divide us. However you voted, or didn’t vote, perhaps your heart, like mine, has been heavy as you’ve watched folks around you respond in ways that don’t seem much like Jesus. Right now, it’s harder than ever to have real, honest, productive, civil conversations about topics that divide us. And now this week we prepare to gather to give thanks around a table with family and friends, who perhaps have wildly different viewpoints than we ascribe to, or who have hurt us with their words, or worse – have disinvited us from the table altogether.

The importance of creating spaces to have meaningful conversations on divisive topics is felt more profoundly today than what most of us can ever remember. I am reminded how vitally important our work is. God is still at work with us. He is transforming lives with these dialogues. I’m convinced the path ahead, while tough at times, is all the more necessary for us to navigate.

The importance of creating spaces to have meaningful conversations on divisive topics is felt more profoundly today than what most of us can ever remember. On Friday, we held a public dialogue on faith, sexuality, and gender identity. The presenters held vastly different viewpoints – from conservative/traditional to progressive/liberal. But we all came together, as Christian brothers and sisters, to turn our hearts and minds towards how we can find ways to move forward together. The experience left me reminded of the great hope that we have in a Savior that moved into our neighborhood when we were still his enemies. I pray that we might find ways to move toward one another in the midst of conflict, rather than away. If you need some encouragement this week that this sort of relationship-building and sustaining is possible, you can watch the recording of the event here.

There is much for us to be thankful for this year, but most of all I am encouraged by each of you who remain in conversation with us. As we quickly approach the close of this year, I hope you will consider a year-end gift to support our work. We need your support in these conversations now, perhaps more than ever.
Grace and Peace,
Heidi-signature
Heidi Weaver-Smith
President & Founder

A Response to Intervarsity

ConsiderThis

Last week, my friend Veronica approached me about writing a piece on the Intervarsity “theological purge” controversy.  Veronica, as you will learn below, was deeply involved with Intervarsity for several years and is a great advocate for her LGBT+ friends.  With feet in both worlds, the news has affected her personally, and because I found her response to be helpful and insightful, I’d like to share it with you today.  As part of our Consider This Perspective series, Veronica’s views shared here are her own, and we are glad to share them with you.

By: VERONICA TIMBERS
Editor: HEIDI WEAVER-SMITH
Recently, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship USA, an organization that works in campus ministry, missions, and publishing, announced a policy that would result in hundreds of individuals losing their jobs for having a theology that affirms same sex marriage.

The news appeared in Time, where journalist Elizabeth Dias reported that Intervarsity employees who support gay marriage or disagree with the organization’s new theological position on sexuality would be fired starting in November. Employees are expected to out themselves on the topic, initiating a two-week termination process. Dias calls the situation a “theological purge.”

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Oriented to Faith: A Preview

CASCADE_TemplateLast week, after some reflections on the first chapter of Tim Otto’s excellent book, Oriented to Faith, we promised you an excerpt. We are thrilled to share that with you today.  Oriented to Faith is beautifully written and heartbreakingly authentic. Tim’s story is powerful and offers a rare, precious, redemptive lens into the conversation on faith and sexuality.  We hope you’ll buy it, devour it, and talk about it with your friends and family.  Here’s an excerpt from chapter one we think you’ll love!

Remembering Pain

When I was six years old, I accepted Jesus into my heart. My parents were missionaries in Uganda, East Africa, and I would stand my mother’s accordion case on end, open the family Bible on top of it, preach loud ‘sermons,’ and recruit a parent, pet, or peer to listen. Waving my arms flamboyantly and conducting hymns, I loved playing “church.” This was also the year I discovered the game “doctor.” When other missionary kids would sleep over, I realized I had more interest in the bodies of the boys I explored than those of girls. Even at age six, playing “doctor” made me feel intensely ashamed. In this chapter I’ll try to relate what it was like to grow up gay. Continue reading