Big Announcement on New Publishing Project!

The Marin Foundation team is very excited to announce that we have officially signed a contract with Zondervan Publishers to produce a six session DVD, with a Participant Guide, on building bridges!

This new resource will be for any church, university, non-profit, organization, clinic, community center, small group of friends or individuals interested in what it means to not only elevate the conversation between the LGBT community and the conservative world, but also culturally engage each community through our Living in the Tension (LITT) gatherings – where there will be an entire session devoted to building and sustaining your own LITT group. 🙂

We are so, so excited about this new resource and pray it has a huge impact moving forward to continue spreading this bridge building movement! It is currently scheduled to release in January 2012, and I will be keeping everyone up to date on our progress throughout this new experience. We are blessed to enter into this partnership with Zondervan Publishers, who have been the driving force behind making this resource a reality. They are the publishing leader in producing high quality, mass-market DVD curriculums (Rob Bell’s NOOMA series, NT Wright, Tim Keller and Gabe Lyons among others), and we are humbled they believe so strongly in us and our bridge building work. We have a conference call with them next week, and will be solidifying the scheduling, session titles and content. So stay tuned for the breakdown for all of that.

In the meantime, is there anything you would like to see us cover in the DVDs and participant’s guide? We want to make this as practical as possible and would love your thoughts.

Much love.

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  • Congrats on the new project!

    I’ll have to mull over suggestions and get back to you. 🙂

    • Thanks Jon…looking forward to hearing them!

      • Andrew: Here is my biggest suggestion. Maybe you could clarify that there is a difference between bridge-building and proselytizing. My understanding is that you’re trying to move beyond the culture war white noise. Part of that is accepting that we’re not all going to believe the same things. Also, many if most of the GLBT people that Christians reach out to many never darken your church’s doorstep or if they do, they may leave b/c it’s not for them. That’s not a terrible thing as long as both sides can learn how to respect each other’s differences.

        • Those are reasonable points, Jon.

          Most interesting and pertinent to the unfolding discussion is a statement made by Rev. Al Mohler recently (while appearing on Focus on the Family’s radio program) that Christians had better get ready for how they will respond to the inevitability of gay marriage as a nationwide mandate. It is coming. He is right. I believe the Supreme Court will ultimately rule in favor of gay marriage and annul every state constitutional amendment.

          It would be a shame if this only proved to sharpen the divide. While disagreement will continue, we will have to acknowledge and respect the gay families living among us

        • Good point about accepting that we aren’t all going to believe the same things.

          I would be happy if we strove to understand one another better. Listening with the intent to understand is a profound act of love.

          A recent episode of “On Being” explored how we live in the tension and deal with differences.

          A woman who has been participating in the abortion debate for years said “the pressure of coming to agreement works against really understanding each other.”

          For anyone who is interested, I recommend that show as a source of stories and tools for bridge-building. Why not learn from someone else’s years of experience?

  • richard ralston

    Andrew, i am a non-denominational gay minister. I am also a Suicide survivor I shot myself back in 88′ I believe in your work I was wondering if at some time we could possibly work in tandem, possibly with some of your literature. My vision is to bring a message of understanding and acceptance to small towns where many resources are quite lacking. i want to endeavor to reach out to younger gay people who are trapped in the mire of middle America both intellectually as well as culturally. By this I believe we could help many of these youngsters begin to understand and accept themselves. Thereby reducing the amount of teen suicides. I’m personally willing to travel and speak on this subject in any type of forum. I have quite a lot of experience with H.I.V. Hep.C. and addiction issues as well. Being as I am partially paralyzed, ( though ambulatory) I would truly appreciate any of your thoughts on this subject as I bow to your experience. Any of your thoughts would definately be appreciated.
    We are friends on facebook already or contact me via my e-mail
    Brother Richard Ralston

    • Hey brother! I will most definitely email you about all of this. Thanks for writing! Talk soon then…

      • Brother Richard Ralston

        thanks, Andrew
        I really appreciate it!

        • Wanted to let you know that I just emailed you. Looking forward to talking. Much love.

  • Congrats Andrew, exciting to see God’s plan unfold!

    I’ll have to give it more thought, but off the top of my head I think there should be some variety in Christians and LGBT represented in the video. Stereotypes are a huge factor in the two groups misunderstandings. I think if both parties are given a chance to see testimonies of real people with real hearts maybe they will slowly tear down the wall of fear and judgment.

    I’ll be mulling this over. So glad to have a ministry like this Andrew… honestly an answer to prayer.

    • Thanks for the suggestions! Love them for sure.

  • Heidi

    I. CANNOT. WAIT!!!!

    This is such amazing news! I am celebrating with you! And I am so excited to buy a copy as soon as humanly possible! I don’t have any suggestions because I know if you just keep doing what you’re doing, it will be amazing. Just include everything, ok? 🙂

    Blessings and prayers to you all as you proceed forward with this exciting venture!

    • No problem Heidi…we’ll definitely include everything 🙂

  • Br. Michael

    God is in control… Amen to that! Congrads Br. Andrew. By the way, please remember the B in LGBT is nor a G nor an L. We have our own voice…. I am here to help. Thank you!

    • Great reminder Brother Michael! Thanks… And I will be hitting you up for some help with that.

  • hi andrew!

    i’ve been a fan and prayer supporter of your ministry for a couple years now. i absolutely love what you do and have learned a great deal, as well as been plunged into awesome ministry opportunities myself, as a result of reading your book and hearing you on the radio at times and such.

    i would so love to see in your dvd series a dumbed-down, straight-forward address to the super conservative masses who are genuinely curious and willing to learn, but have no proper context in which to understand about the grace and reality required in building these bridges.

    so often i encounter minister friends of mine who would love to be more interactive in their dialogue with and about the GLBT community, but for fear of judgement, themselves, and also due to ignorance, limit their discourse to general statements and gestures of passivity. i’ve realized that their continued state of ignorance is attributed largely to the fear of asking questions that might bring judgement. how cool would it be if someone simply straight-out confronted them with the questions they hide in their minds?

    i’m not really sure what all this would mean, in a practical sense. and honestly, i’m sure this is exactly what you are trying to accomplish anyway with this project, so kudos! i’m looking forward to it!


    • Tayen – Thanks so much. I will be sure to do as you suggested as I know others in the exact same situation as your minister friends as well. Fear of asking questions does indeed unfortunately paralize too many. Much love!

  • I am most interested in seeing how you will handle the scriptural questions, which can be so divisive.

    • I will be framing them the same way as I did in my book, with the Big 5 Kingdom Principles.

  • JJJonij

    Would the DVDs be interviews with both lesbian and straight and gay men?
    I think many gays are very well acquainted with conservative christians, because they grew up in those homes. Straight conservative people also know many gay people, but kind of tune them out in a don’t ask don’t tell kind of way. It’s a kind of weird social erasure I experience every day out in the world. George Bush the 1st and Barbara Bush knew a gay hairdresser who died of AIDS, for example. They have gay servants, the know gay children. Conservative people know gays, they just don’t want us to have any civil rights.

    And just because the supreme court approves gay marriage doesn’t mean most straight people of a certain generation will accept it. The true change in attitudes comes 30 years after the fact. Look at how white people used to see MLK compared to today.

    It would be good to have real gays and lesbians talk about real things, and perhaps capture the subtlety of gay and lesbian life. That it is a worldwide culture, that it is international, and that it has a long history, would be a good start. Conservatives often think of us as just isolated individuals, not a people with a history, tradition, and contributions to how christianity is written about. This might come as quite a surprise to most straight people, who seem to know very little about the lesbian world.

    As for stereotypes of gay people, I think it is largely ignorance of the culture itself. I would go for something that doesn’t sanitize or privilege “straight appearing assimilation”– a lot of us really like our community, and don’t want to assimilate to hetero norms, because we consider them both anti-woman AND homophobic. Not sure if the films could actually capture this.

    A mini history of gay christianity itself might be helpful. You’d have to be very careful about proselytizing, because most of us are not going to go to straight churches to begin with, and lesbian feminists certainly won’t be a part of hierachical male systems that pass as churches in most places.

    Young people — say 30 and under had a lot of out gay friends in high school or college, so it was a normal thing for them. A 60 something person didn’t know any out gay people at age 30-something, and this is what creates a unique cultural divide between young and old.

    I notice this now with black and white women— now it’s so easy to hang out and socialize, because again social norms are much freer, but this was not the case 40 years ago.

    Age group breakdowns, and how this impacts gay and lesbian life would be very useful. Sure straight people are going to be resentful of gay marriages, and they’ll go kicking and screaming about this forever. It’s ok, I don’t approve of straight marriage as it is structured either, so let’s call it even.
    To me it is about the male ownship and sexual slavery of women, it’s about a license to force women to have sex as part of the marriage “contract” and it’s about forced pregnancy in most parts of the world, so I don’t support it as it is constituted now. That would be an interesting counterpart to the straight critique of gay life. There are always both sides to a question.

    Good luck with the project. I’d liked to have a section– more than 10 minutes if possible 🙂 that focuses exclusively on lesbian life, with a wide range of lesbians, not just femme appearing or acting, but a large body of lesbian culture clearly explained, and a point making that lesbians should not be lumped in with gay men, because we aren’t at all like gay men. We have oppression as gay people, but the similarity is thin at that point.

    • JJJonij – Thank you so much for thinking about this and writing. I really, really appriciate your imput on this and I will most definietly do all that I can to include each of your points as I feel you brought up some brilliant stuff! I want to give justice and dignity to my LGBT friends and people in my community (on this blog counts for that as well 🙂 ) through this project just the same as I want to help move the church forward in knowing what it means to actually love and build bridges. Your contribution to that is immense. Thank you again.

  • Bart Wang

    Just wondering how this will be different from the ‘Bridging The Gap’ DVDs that New Direction ( If it does something different, that is great. Much love from the north.

    • Bart Wang

      No idea why the site added the bracket and question mark to the link. Sorry!

      • No prob The Wang! We love and support Wendy Gritter and New Direction’s work very much and are not here to try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to the DVDs – especially since ND did such a great job with theirs! To be honest, we don’t necessarily know what the structure of ours will be as we just signed the contract this week and are starting the planning for it next week. As far as right now, there will prob be less interviews and more curriculum style facilitation. Also, there is going to be an entire session (DVD and study guide) on how someone can create, build and sustian their own Living in the Tension Gatherings in their own local community – including topics and structures that we have used and have gone over very well.

        I’d love to hear your thoughts as well about what different things you would like to see in ours in relation to New Directions has already broken ground on? Thanks brother!

  • reese

    Okay, I don’t know if this works with this project, or perhaps it’s another one down the line… I understand that The Marin Foundation is all about building bridges between the church and the GLBT community outside the church, but what about the work that will need to be done INSIDE the church, as members/kids/attenders/whoever slowly come out. Your book is a great resource for reaching out to the ‘unbelieving GLBT’ community (for lack of a better term). Now I need resources for believers whose ‘believing loved ones’ (again, for lack of a better term) are drawn to the GLBT community. Simply put, there is no one to talk to – too many questions (fears, how-tos, emotions, etc.) to know what to do with, or where to begin. While it’s easy to say, ‘just love them’ it is very difficult to know what that looks like. There’s waaay more to this conversation than should be put in a post. But the church is going to need to know how to help the families and friends of ‘their own’ who come out, regardless of what they do with Christ and the church. Awkward post, I know… I don’t even know the right words to use…