The Marin Foundation is getting a New Website!

Yes! Our current website hasn’t been updated in about 2 years…why we’ve pretty much been using this blog as The Marin Foundation organizational website as well. The reason? Our current TMF website is HTML and none of us know anything about that. So we’re working with McLane Creative to come up with a new, fresh and totally awesome site for The Marin Foundation that is WordPress based so Kevin, Nathan and I can update it daily if we wanted to. So my questions to you all are:

What do you want to see on the new site of The Marin Foundation?

What would be useful and helpful to you on our new site?

What are other sites lacking that you would like to see on ours?

What are on other sites that you love that you would like to see on ours?

Tell me everything, no idea is too small, so we can make this site as interactive, useful and brilliant as possible.

Much love. (ugh, can’t wait for the new one!!!)

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  • Mrs T

    The original site has good things. The history should stay.
    Have the links of you 3(Kevin also?) more prominent, but have the other links.
    Have a place for the most important info, so newbies won’t take long to learn about TMF. Have a mechanism so folks can ask to have new entries e-mailed(or notifications)[Boy, are we lazy!].
    Another thing to add may be short exerpts of articles from various sources from Christianity Today to Curve! Because I read the local LGBT press, I see there is lots of stuff going on. I don’t have time to read the ‘arts’ sections that much, but you may want to feature the most important things in the arts(music, paintings, plays, writings, movies, etc.)as there are a lot out there(Nathan?).
    Because I am a people person, I would sure enjoy an interview periodically(usually written-sometimes a video if easy). Make sure it is long enough to really say something. Our topic is rarely boring! Alternate between both sides. How about Paul Varnell first?

  • Dora

    This site is pretty user friendly. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Videos with interviews of prominent lesbian christian leaders.
    2. More lesbian centered discussions, and an open invitation to christian lesbians nationwide to join in.
    3. Women interviewing other women on the videos.
    4. Commentary about what gays and lesbians are doing in churches worldwide, including more coverage of MCC events.
    5. Invitations to LGBT biblical and theological scholars.
    6. Art and music– lots of good visuals out there
    7. International news of what gays and lesbians are doing– not just the negative attack stuff, but a more global consciousness
    8. Lesbian staff members of Marin Foundation talking about their experiences working there or what kind of programs that the foundation is doing with lesbians and straight women.
    9. Book reviews– loads of really good gay christian stuff being published all over the place, plus old classics.
    10. Old classics would be good so a new generation can learn that none of this stuff is new vis-a-vis gay/lesbian/christian theology. Sometimes there just isn’t much of a historical overview– and the lack of historical grounding of the development of gay and lesbian christian activism short changes young people.
    11. Overall, excellent material, thoughtful stuff. It can only get improved!!
    12. Lesbian christians are often in the news but are usually not covered here: Mary Glasspool, Janie Spahr, are recent examples.

  • Mrs T

    Only 2 of us & look at all the ideas! Remember, you can do most all of ths, but not as often. Book reports can be monthly or less as could be ‘history corner’, the arts, etc. But news headlines should be regular. Dora, there is lots of positive news in our local gay papers that is not controversial, like AIDS programs, various meetings & even the Gay Games.
    Andrew, we have plenty of ‘gay-friendly’ churches of various stripes, that we could feature a ‘church of the month’ till they run out. By that time, the original ones should have more info!
    As Dora wants more lesbian info, I’m sure you do include all the ‘letters’ of LGBTQAI when you want to give info. Yeah, how about an article on what entails an ‘ally’ & maybe an interview of one later on……
    BTW, what about the T-shirt contest?????

  • Dora

    I often think there is too much focus on all the “bad” churches, and not enough focus on the good churches. Clearly there are gay and lesbian friendly churches everywhere– the best pastors for gay people, the top 10 gay and lesbian pastors, that sort of thing.

    Our allies are everywhere, and need to be encouraged because they’ve been doing this work year in and year out for decades. There is too much emphasis on evangelicals, and not enough information on the most progressive spiritual places for gay people nationwide.

    Then there are groups like Evangelicals Concerned that have been around for ages, and have chapters in lots of places. PLAG– they are the best, and probably connect with gay positive churches nationwide too.

    So much good news really. Or as I liked to see it– I paid attention to the thousands of houses that had “No on 8′ signs in their front yards– those are the good people, and they should be honored and celebrated.

    Who has preached the very best lesbian friendly sermon in Chicago? Who are the lesbian pastors in Chicago? Could be a whole lesbian clergy Chicago express. On a roll here. Maybe a resource list of gay and lesbian spiritual directors.

    One thing that was a big help to me, is I sought out what worked, who the best people were… I had a strong idea of what was the best spiritual advice, who might know it, who might share it. There may still be a lot of feminism and gay 101 out there, but we need the advanced stuff too now and then. I bet there are all kinds of people who have been in ministry to gays and lesbians for decades– the elder statespeople, if you will. We need to hear more from them, because they have stood the test of time.

  • Mrs T

    I guess there is so much emphasis on evangelicals is that they have been ignorant of many things or have been so blindsided or confused when a kid says he is gay that they don’t know what to do. Andrew is trying to teach them what is really going on & to learn & help kids, not alienate them(among other things).
    The Catholic Church may need some help, too.
    Remember, his main mission is to bridge the gap that has been going on for decades or longer. Also remember that to bridge the gap, one doesn’t have to completely agree with the other person.

    Now, lest Dora & I have a monoply on this, how about some other ideas from other folks! ……or have we said it all!?? 🙂 🙂

    • Bridging the gap would mean balancing the proposal for more lesbian friendly resources with more conservative Christian friendly resources.

  • I’d like to see ongoing updates of radio, TV, and online interviews, as well as podcasts of speaking engagements, when possible. It helps people to know what TMF is about. I occasionally download presentations off of iTunes, but most of those are fairly similar in content and audience (i.e., evangelical Christian leadership groups). I would love to hear some examples of presentations given in gay-affirming churches/groups or whatever.

    Also, you once posted a video of an intersexed individual’s journey. I vaguely recall that it was either a Living in Tension event or one of your Moody events. It would be interesting to see material from other Living in Tension events. It would help those of us not living in the Chicago area to see what’s going on at TMF.

    Don’t know if any of this is possible, but that’s what I’d like to see. 🙂

    • I echo all of what Jon said.

      I’d love to see more recordings / podcasts of places you’ve spoke. We’ve seen / heard a lot of times speaking to evanglicals. What about when you speak to primarily gay audiences?

      Also, the resources, information from LITT gatherings would be great.

      In addition to Jon’s ideas, I’d like to see resources for churches looking to begin having the conversation of how they can build bridges.

  • Person

    I for one would love to see some testimonies, written or video, of people who have been personally impacted by The Marin Foundation. They could represent both the conservative and ‘non-conservative’ viewpoints. That and maybe a news feed of some kind for stories related to sexuality and faith. Looking forward to the new site!

  • All of this is useful. Keep the ideas coming. It’s your site, too!

  • Dora

    Mrs. T 🙂

  • Dora

    How to set up a bridge group at your church… love it…
    Kind of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” Christian style 🙂

  • Person

    This just came to me. Would it be possible to have a special section for youth? I mean, the statistics do show that when people begin to struggle with being GLBT and start trying to figure out what it all means for them, they are usually still in their teens. On the other side, many conservative Christian teens wonder what to do about gay peers. All this in mind, It would be almost negligent for The Marin Foundation not to have in some capacity material that is aimed specifically at young people. Exodus International has a youth program, so why can’t TMF? That’s just my two cents though. I’m a huge fan of you all, and hope to get your book soon. 🙂

    • I would echo and expand on “Person’s” comment:

      A section devoted to the concerns of GLBT youth and their families/friends would be excellent. Also, within that section, resources for educators who have GLBT youth in their schools. Many times, educators are just as confused about what to do as anyone else. It would be nice to have some resources for them as well.

      can’t wait to see it…

  • Mrs T

    Sometimes I have a ‘dumb question’ that I would like an anwer to. We all might have such questions. Maybe we could PM our Qs & then you could answer one each week or month depending how many you get or how pertinent they are.
    But, with all our suggestions, we need to remember the mission of TMF & not get too far off track.

    • Mrs T

      Sorry to bug you again, but the site/blog should have regular posting. Sometimes your blog is daily & sometimes not for what seems to be weeks. There are ‘canned’ things you can prepare ahead or have Nathan & Kevin blog regularly when you will not be available. They have a lot to say.
      Maybe pick a day or 2 per week where there is nothing new(weekends?)so those who don’t have time can catch up what they missed & know what to expect.
      But, since there is plenty of material, you should have a more predictable timetable(of course the material shouldn’t be too predictable!!!!).

  • Thresa

    I live in the Tulsa Oklahoma area, we will probaly be dead last in getting you here and walk us through elevating the conversation. In many instances, even having a conversation about other things is difficult enough. I would like to see the Living In The Tension offered to churches and small groups who have decided to tackle some very emotional and tough issue. You could add the opportunity to have a podcast once or twice as the group goes throuh the study in order for them to benefit from your experiences, what works, what didn’t work, etc.