Friday, September 05, 2008

Worth checking out!

Hi! I know, it's been a while, and once again, much has happened, including an excellent visit from my whole family a couple of weeks ago. But instead of back-tracking, I want to jump into where I'm at right now, and right now I'd like to make a recommendation.

Sexuality and gender identity have been hot topics lately, especially in the Christian circles in which I participate - at school, at church, at work. Though most Christ followers are well-intentioned (I hope), I've seen a fair amount of violence and insensitivity in ways many of us choose to talk about homosexuality (or same-gender-attractedness (SGA) - a term that I'm really warming up to), and more disturbingly, in the ways we behave (or don't behave) toward same-gender-attracted folks.

If this is on your heart and mind, as it is on mine, or even if it's not(!), I'd like to point you toward a wonderful Canadian ministry I've just discovered called New Direction. Danice told me about them after one of their directors met with her church staff. Their mission: "Creating a safe place for same-gender-attracted people to journey towards wholeness in Christ." Their vision: "That every gay and lesbian person in Canada encounter Christ through friendship with a Christ-follower; and every Christian struggling with same-gender attraction access redemptive ministry in their own region."

Even the language they use in those two sentences is SO encouraging! I find their approach really refreshing. As one person put it on their blog: "discipleship, welcoming and transforming - not rejecting and condemning, or welcoming and affirming...[this is] the harder, more paradoxical road, but one that brings more possibilities for true, deep, and lasting impact through the dynamic tensions of listening, learning, and loving ... without compromising truth."

The key is that New Direction recognizes that transformation is God's business, and love is our business. They recognize that the goal is to introduce people to Christ, not to convert people to heterosexuality. Please, please check them out - at least check out their new blog. I have been challenged and blessed by it.