The busiest season of The Marin Foundation’s existence just ended. From the beginning of October to right before Thanksgiving I was speaking around the country 50 of 60 days. During that period I flew 21,713 miles, visited 16 different cities and spoke at 22 different events in front of about 17,000 people live—and prayerfully this is just the beginning of what is to come in 2009 and beyond! Looking back on this season brings not only excitement for what is to come, but also a heavy heart filled with mixed feelings about where The Marin Foundation has come from.
I clearly remember the beginning months as I started The Marin Foundation after just quitting my comfortable job working at the world famous Drake Hotel in Chicago. I wasn’t exactly sure how to start getting the word out, so the best way I knew how was to open Chicago’s phone book, flip to the section labeled Churches, and just start calling. There were 2,671 churches listed in Chicago, and I thought there’s no better way to introduce myself then to do it in person. From the first church under the letter A to the last church for letter Z, I called all of them. For the first 6 months of The Marin Foundation’s existence, 7 days a week, I set up 2, 3, 4 or 5 meetings per day with senior pastors. During that period I was the Chicago Transit Authority’s best public transportation customer. Here’s the kicker—I stopped counting after I got laughed out of the 641st church! That’s right, I stopped counting after the first 641 times I heard the phrase:
“You’re 24 years old and want to do something that has never been done before? Stop wasting my time.”
After all of that embarrassment I thought I heard God’s voice wrong. But I didn’t—I knew I didn’t. And so I kept plugging away in the midst of everyone thinking I was crazy. And yet 3 ½ years later I humbly had the opportunity to speak live to 17,000 people in a 60 day period! That realization just floors me as I remember those beginning 6 months getting laughed out of 641 churches who all believed a bridge couldn’t be built between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and religious communities. Look how far we’ve gotten in such a short period of time—and it has been because of your spiritual and financial faithfulness that The Marin Foundation is able to continue. Not only have I had the chance to get our bridge building message out to thousands of Christian people who will go back to their own cities and make a significant impact for the kingdom, but The Marin Foundation has also continued to make a direct impact within the gay and lesbian community here in Chicago and throughout the country as well. Through this past year we have had a unique opportunity to partner with a variety of GLBT organizations to facilitate many different trainings, workshops and classes to bring a more thorough understanding of Jesus to those gay and lesbian people who desperately seek him out. And I’m seeing first hand the power of our Father’s work in so many people’s lives!
Thank you all so much for faithfully being such an integral part of The Marin Foundation and our work in making systemic changes between two communities that only know one way of interaction—fighting within a culture war. I know the economy has been rough on all of us this past year, but I humbly ask that you please financially give to The Marin Foundation as we operate 100% off of your donations (securely via Pay-Pal through our website www.themarinfoundation.org)! No donation is too small, and know that each dollar you give is another dollar invested into God’s work—God’s same transforming work that 3 ½ years ago was laughed out of 641 Christian churches who didn’t believe a bridge could be built!
Jan 10 Andrew Marin will be attending a training for Productive Prison Ministry, as The Marin Foundation gears toward partnering with local prison’s to reach the gay and lesbian community who are locked in jail.
Jan 17-18 Andrew Marin and members of The Marin Foundation team will be at Christ Community Church of Omaha in Nebraska.
Jan 20-23 The Marin Foundation team will be in Southern California consulting with various agencies, churches and organizations on how to implement The Marin Foundation’s bridge building work.
Feb 10-13 Andrew Marin will speaking 3 times (part of a General Session and two workshops) at the National Pastors Convention in San Diego, CA—hosted by Zondervan Publishers and InterVarsity Press. For more information please visit: www.nationalpastorsconvention.com.
Feb 14-15 Andrew Marin will be speaking at the Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information please visit www.jubileeconference.com.
Feb 21 Andrew Marin will be giving an all day training on Bridge Building to the Elders of Willow Creek.
March 6-8 Andrew Marin will be speaking at the Dallas, TX Urban Youth Workers Institute RELOAD. For more information please visit www.uywi.org.
March 14 Andrew Marin will be giving an all day training at the United Church of Christ St. Louis Area Pastors Gathering.
April 2009 The official release of Love Is An Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (InterVarsity Press). Pre-orders are currently being taken at www.amazon.com.
***2008 Donations will continue to be accepted through January 9, 2009***
Participate Now Online in our Current Research Study
You can now anonymously participate in the largest national research study ever done in the GLBT and religious communities, Religious Acculturation within the GLBT Community, through our website at www.themarinfoundation.org/study.htm.
We have 49/50 states who have participated, and we still need participation in South Dakota. Though participation from any State is still desired as well!
God Bless and Much Love.