This Weekend’s United Church of Christ Event

This weekend I will be speaking to a group of United Church of Christ (UCC) clergy members in the St. Louis area. As many of you know, the UCC is one of the denominations that are being torn apart by the topic of homosexuality. Although much of the UCC has already decided upon an affirming stance (a pro-gay theological belief system) that includes ordination of gay and lesbian people, there are still factions that believe in a traditional interpretation of Scripture.

The fight within the UCC has become public news, especially in the Midwest region. I was therefore asked to come and speak to a gathering of UCC clergy, both progressive and conservative, together, to help facilitate a peaceful and productive dialogue to help stop the fighting. If you think of me over the weekend, please pray for my time with those in the UCC who will be in attendance, as the Holy Spirit will move throughout our time and let there be significant changes within each side’s understanding and will to build bridges towards each other and for the Kingdom.

If we can’t work with our own, how can we expect those on the outside to believe in what we claim?

Much love.
www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • D.J. Free!

    I’ll be praying for you, Andrew. I hope this discussion goes really well.

    Ya know, things like church-splits over homosexuality tend to give me a bit of a complex as a gay Christian. It’s kinda like the kid who blames himself for mommy and daddy getting a divorce :(

  • D.J. Free!

    I'll be praying for you, Andrew. I hope this discussion goes really well. Ya know, things like church-splits over homosexuality tend to give me a bit of a complex as a gay Christian. It's kinda like the kid who blames himself for mommy and daddy getting a divorce :(

  • Andrew Marin

    Wow! Those are some of the most powerful words I have heard in a long while! I have never thought about it like that before, and not only that, but I’ve never even heard another gay Christian put it in such a fashion. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to such an impactful subject that (now I know) many churches from both sides are totally overlooking!!!! I’m going to have to do a post about it and bring your words to the forefront of the hurtful subsidiary effects…

    Much love!

  • D.J. Free!

    No problem, Andrew! That's actually the first time I've ever articulated it in that way before. But it's been a sentiment I've struggled with for a long time. I remember when I first began to become more accepting of my sexuality . . . I had very extensive conversations with my pastor for this very reason. I feared that *I* would be the cause of members leaving, or the church splitting. It's a complex I've yet to recover from in all honesty . . .

  • Jon Trouten

    Hi Andrew. Just wanted to let you know that I received and appreciated your comments on my blog entry about you and this weekend’s UCC Clergy event (http://community.ucc.org/post/Jon/blog/marin_foundation_and_the_ucc.html). It was good to receive a link to this blog as opposed to the amazon blog, as it offered me more perspective of your POV. I still have reservations about the Boystown tours/trips/recreations. I mean, there’s more to gay life than the bars and the clubs. Many gay people like myself have grown beyond the clubs and have settled down with partners, careers, and kids. I just worry what those conservative Christians are learning/having reinforced about gay people if that’s their contact with gay folks. Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on your blog and invite you to do the same with mine. I look forward to reading your book when it eventually comes out. -Jon

  • Andrew Marin

    2 things:1. DJ – can you plese email me at andrew@themarinfoundation.org, becuase I would love to have you write a guest post about your feelings and expereinces! I think it would be extremely powerful, and it sure is something we all have to learn and know about!!!2. Jon – thanks so much for your thoughts! I totally see where you're coming from regarding the bars/clubs etc as there is no doubt that MANY-A-PERSON has grown out of such an experience…yours included. I make it a big point to always reiturate the fact that the "going out" scene isn't representitive of the community as a whole. And not only do I reiturate that point, I always bring in other people (just like yourself) to drive that point home as well in the flesh and blood, face-to-face. I'd never want to mislead conservative folks, or wrongfully drive home further negative stereotypes; which is why I am so intentional (some might even say a little OCD) about making that clear! Look forward to continuing to communicate. Much love.

  • Andrew Marin

    2 things:

    1. DJ – can you plese email me at andrew@themarinfoundation.org, becuase I would love to have you write a guest post about your feelings and expereinces! I think it would be extremely powerful, and it sure is something we all have to learn and know about!!!

    2. Jon – thanks so much for your thoughts! I totally see where you’re coming from regarding the bars/clubs etc as there is no doubt that MANY-A-PERSON has grown out of such an experience…yours included. I make it a big point to always reiturate the fact that the “going out” scene isn’t representitive of the community as a whole. And not only do I reiturate that point, I always bring in other people (just like yourself) to drive that point home as well in the flesh and blood, face-to-face. I’d never want to mislead conservative folks, or wrongfully drive home further negative stereotypes; which is why I am so intentional (some might even say a little OCD) about making that clear! Look forward to continuing to communicate. Much love.


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