Monday, February 25, 2008

Revving up for Mardi Gras

After a very supportive pre-march forum, the 100Revs team are on track to March at the Mardi Gras this coming Saturday. Please continue to support us by:

1. Encouraging any ministers/pastors/reverends that you know to march with us or affirm the statement. Ask them to email 100revs@live.com.au.

2. Praying for safety and courage for the marchers both in the march and in their ministries.

3. Praying that this action will have the intended outcome of bringing reconciliation and healing to people in the GLBTI community who have been hurt by the church, and encouraging churches to be welcoming in their attitude to gay people.

If you need details for the march, please email 100Revs@live.com.au
Publish Post
Grace and Peace
Colin Scott

32 comments:

Rollan McCleary (Dr) said...

I want to say how much I appreciate and support what you are boldly attempting and am most struck you are doing it at this time. Your gesture follows on what I believe was the spiritually powerful and even divinely intended act of this new government to make formal apology to the Aboriginals of Australia. Along the same lines I am becoming convinced that no matter what some will claim are the precise rights or wrongs of individual gays and their behaviours, the churches will never now adequately minister to gays at large until some kind of public apologies/repentances for centuries of wrong attitudes and actions are forthcoming. So I feel you are touching on a real spiritual power point.

Kaz said...

I did not know where to comment. I was so overwhelmed with relief. My younger sister, a catholic school teacher, was ostrisised, pushed and accused (of being a lesbian) and under threat of her job. she was a fantasic teacher, loved her children so much and followup many as far a high school if they had a difficult family situation. She left on stress leave after principal etc etc gave her an impossible load. Torn between her love of teaching kids about Jesus and being free to be herself, and under incredible stress and depression, she suicided. No one has ever acknowledged why they did - nor do I expect they will.

This will help me. I hope they show you marching on TV as I can't get there. I am crying as I write this. thank you, thank you

David Ayliffe said...

I'm writing to endorse the statement.
Every member of society, whether of different colour, spiritual beliefs, or sexual persuasion is loved by God unconditionally.
Remembering that Christ died for all means that when we on behalf of His church reject any person we are rejecting Christ himself.
It is as if we nail him again to the tree.
Part of the wonderful act of Calvary is a rejection of rejection, a condemnation of condemnation in the ultimate demonstration of love for love's sake.
I would be very grateful if someone would march in Mardi Gras on my behalf as I am unable to attend.

Presbyterians for Gay Concerns said...

Homosexuality is probably the most divisive issue since slavery split the church. Christian ministers are claiming divine authority for the judgment that gay men and women are not only different, but sinfully different; gay men and women are being physically and psychologically abused; they are being excluded from their families, frozen out of churches, and discriminated against in a variety of painful legal ways. Homophobia is a thorn in the flesh of the church, and we can remain neither indifferent nor indecisive.Clearly, it is not Scripture that creates hostility to homosexuality, but rather hostility to homosexuality that prompts certain Christians to retain a few passages from an otherwise discarded law code. The problem is not how to reconcile homosexuality with scriptural passages that appear to condemn it, but rather how to reconcile the rejection and punishment of homosexuals with the love of Christ. I do not think it can be done . . . .The treatment of gays and lesbians is a sort of litmus test of justice in the country now. If we recover the original sense of the goodness of creation and then try not to deny God the right to a more pluralistic creation, we'll do much better when it comes to understanding homosexuality.

Anthony Venn-Brown said...

I would also like to say what a wonderful act of love it is for these ministers to say sorry to the GLBT community and it saddens my heart to here of negative reaction you are getting.

Because I wrote about my journey, I constantly get emails from gay and lesbian people both in and out of churches. Many of their stories are heart wrenching and the way they have been treated shows a terrible ignorance of sexual orientation along with prejudice. All prejudice stems from ignorance.

The thing that begins to shift peoples understanding is when they actually get close to gay and lesbian people and realise that many of their assumptions have been false. Thank you to those who have ‘come out’ and those who have put your fears aside and come to us.

As I mentioned once to a leader in the Assemblies of God. "I feel very resolved and at peace, Quite miraculous really. But I know there is a part of me that remains unhealed and you are the only one who can do that for me. That healing can only come when you look me in the eye and say sorry I was wrong and we treated you unfairly". In the meantime though I keep my spirit free.

Thank you 100 Revs for beginning the healing. If you are experiencing rejection, suspicion, misunderstanding, threats or intimidation because of your willingness to admit a wrong and reach out to us……remember that these are the things we have experienced for many years not because of what we’ve done but because of who we are.

jannah b said...

rock on! Keep trucking and don't give in to threats! It's crap. And, frankly if anyone threatens you, you don't really want to be a part of their "godliness".

You're doing a brave and GREAT thing!!!!!!!

Rowland Croucher said...

The only reasons for a clergyperson *not* to sign the 100Revs statement are fear and/or bigotry. I'm retired, so I don't need the denominational hierarchy to open doors for any more parish or other ministries. But those who are still on a ministerial 'career path' (I chose the words deliberately) have to be careful. Most Christian denominations are still a generation behind-the-times in terms of living comfortably with complex gender issues.

(Look at our history with the slavery question, or women's issues).

I'm very happy to have signed the 100Revs statement. As its preamble says, one doesn't have to agree to a particular theological or creedal position to do that. All we have to do is emulate Jesus' approach to people considered 'outsiders'.

Another comment here came from my friend Anthony Venn-Brown. I'm in the process of lending his excellent autobiography to people of various homophobic or other persuasions. See Amazon.com or here for my review of it: http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/20558.htm

(Rev. Dr.) Rowland Croucher

Les said...

Colin

I am an ordained Baptist pastor in Newcastle, NSW. I am proud to commit my support to this project.

I am committed to supporting you in affirming the wideness of God's mercy.

Regards

Les.

Dayna Hercock said...

You go Rev's!!

Over here in kiwiland we are praying that your apology will start a long needed process of healing, one that is needed in our church community as well.

Our family have read the blog and are proud and praying for you all.

Grace and Peace to all the Revs.

Anonymous said...

I applaud all you Revs. Your stance is ground breaking in this region of the world. Unfortunately it may be that you will ridiculed by some of your peers, an experience many gay and lesbian believers have encountered over the years. Jesus encountered ridicule from the pharisees but stayed firm in the spirit of Love of his Father in Heaven. I pray for you all that you too will stand firm in your convictions, and be guided by the Spirit in Love and Peace.

Tez

T & B said...

We want to express our support and gratitude to you all for what you are doing.
We listened to your interview with John Cleary last Sunday with feelings of "AT LAST".

...
We still persevere in our Catholic faith, in spite of the hurt we too experience from our church, as the family of gay's.

Andrew said...

I agree that the condemnation and marginalising of anyone – and in this case of GLBT people - is quite out of step with the Good News that Jesus lived and invites us to participate in. It seems to me that the Gospel always starts with the radical invitation of God’s unconditional love for all of us. As churches, we have not continued this emphasis of Jesus with zealous integrity and as a result, many people who are deeply loved by God have been deeply hurt by us. As a church person all my life, I share in this failure and in saying sorry.

Peter said...

As an active member of the Church I would like to express my support the 100Revs apology statement recognising the lack of hospitality show to members of the Gay community and also confess being hostile in my attitudes towards people of homosexual orientation. Having been confronted with the humanity behind this often controversial issue I realise my attitudes were influenced by fundamental interpretations of scripture rather than the example of Jesus Christ. I hope this apology might help to bridge the gap created by bigoted and judgmental attitudes and open the door for spiritual seekers of all sexual persuasions to find safety in the Church and that our Christian communities will help all people to live lives of dignity and respect.

Chris said...

I add my heartfelt apology to the GLBT community for the lack of welcome & hardhearted attitude that we, in the church, have exhibited towards you. I ask for your forgiveness for this. This attitude does not reflect the love that God has for you. I'm sorry.
Chris

Ross said...

Inspired by the example of Jesus, I welcome all — without discrimination — who seek God. I apologise for the excluding and judgemental stances of my Christian brothers and sisters who have been sure that they were OK and others were not OK, stances Jesus had much to say about. As a religious leader I affirm that Jesus was tougher on us than on those whom society regarded as on the edge.

I pray that we all — whether heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender — will experience the transforming love of God that calls us to worship, to live in welcoming community, to grow toward full humanity, to live in faithful love and to pursue justice and peace in the way of Jesus. It is a path I am only beginning myself.

On a specific note, while I respect the pride that the Mardi Gras engenders for those who have been marginalised, I admit I don't share all of its emphases as portrayed in the media, namely its overt hedonism, promiscuity, exhibitionism and, it seems, alcohol-driven excesses in partying. But I support the intention of ministers to express solidarity with GLBT people, especially in a polarised atmosphere where some simply condemn the participants.

Ross

Grace said...

I will be at mardi gras and cheering loud and proud for you.

I am the daughter and step-daughter of an Anglican, a Baptist, a Muslim and a Jehovah's Witness.

I heard about 100Revs on Radio National the other morning and was very moved.

God onya!!

Chris said...

I would like to say thank you for doing something that's brave and noble - it's what Jesus would do. I admit that at first I thought I was having trouble reading the prints or simply that I was so overtired and could not understand the concept of your group. It was something totally unexpected.

...

I am deeply honoured and moved by your groups intents... words and intentions are enough for me... those are the things that are made of silver linnings of the clouds and are recorded in God's book of good deeds. Actually carrying them out via marching at the Gay Mardi Gras is a mark of humbleness and forgiveness at the same time your group will humiliate many other Christians to hatred of what your group represent.

Chris said...

Hey Revs,

Just wanted to say good on you and thanks for doing what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Adjournment Speech in the NSW Upper House
by the Hon. HELEN WESTWOOD on 28 February 2008 [5.09 p.m.]
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hanstrans.nsf/V3ByKey/LC20080228

.....Oxford Street, just down the road from this place, on Saturday night will be full of colour, music, laughter, panache, passion and soul as the month-long festival comes to an end. There will be many floats on Saturday night parading along Oxford Street, which will represent the great diversity of the gay and lesbian community throughout New South Wales and Australia. As well as the gay and lesbian communities, sporting, cultural, religious, political and business groups in the parade, there will also be supporters of the gay and lesbian community. I mention particularly Rainbow Labor and the unions who will be proudly participating in the parade on Saturday night and also the 100 reverends who are planning to say sorry to those rejected by the churches because of their sexuality. It was wonderful to hear Pastor Mike Hercock say, "Church has been a hostile place for a number of people, including the homosexual community. It's really trying to get away from the ideology of throwing rocks." This is such an important step in the journey ahead as the gay and lesbian community continue in our pursuit of equality and acceptance. I take the opportunity to wish all members of the gay and lesbian community, my brothers and sisters, a very happy Mardi Gras.

Richard said...

I first heard about this last week and attended the forum on Sunday. As a Christian struggling with my sexual orientation I have learned to be constantly on guard so as not to reveal too much about myself to others. As I have shared my struggle in the past many people suddenly changed their behaviour toward me. Some distanced themselves, others took me on as a candidate for healing. Despite all this I remained desperately lonely because I couldn't connect with other people and form honest, open friendships. I thought the problem was all mine until I witnessed the treatment of a key staff member of a large church/bible college who was diagnosed with cancer and soon hospitalised and died @ age 37. I was shocked at the inability of this family of God to deal with one of their own who got sick. One of the pastors suggested to her that if only she had enough faith ... I'm not sure whether it was the cancer or a broken heart that killed her. Little did I know that I was soon to receive the same treatment a year later. Like the Lepers of old we too were no longer welcome in the community. One person to make contact with me was the worship pastor who sent me a card offering a listening ear over coffee anytime. The only other person to initiate contact with me was a married male music pastor who wanted sex and remains on staff. Being a part of the singing and being with people who love God brought a warmth and a great hope to my heart. I dared to think that I may one day become a part of a community of believers again

Anonymous said...

WOW - I wish I had been there to march. As a passionate participant in life with Jesus, this is such a great way to tangibly show the love of Jesus into our communities! I'm sorry too! (make that 101 Revs)

BTW - Great words Rowland Croucher!!

Rev Mike

Greg the Explorer said...

What you guys did was important - I hope it doesn't just stop with one march and just one years push for an apology from the churches.

I encourage those of you whoa read this blog who are on synod bodies or legislative bodies of your particular denomination to table motions based upon the 100 revs apology.

I will be doing so at our Newcastle diocese synod later this year - at least if I can get a seconder I will be.

Congratulations to you all. I understand that many of you are facing disciplinary action from your denominations -I hope it all goes well for you

Melina Merchild said...

Congratulations to you all for your courage in opening doors to pathways of healing and reconciliation.

I am a lesbian, and I had a girlfriend with a permanent teaching position in a Christian school. In order to teach at this school, like so many others, she was required to be a practising Christian, and she sincerely believed herself to be, as well as being a lesbian.

She also believed herself to be securely closeted, but when I accompanied her to one too many school functions "just as her friend" she was taken aside and simply told she needed to find a new job.

As she tried to discover what had happened with her professional standing in this school, no one was willing to voice any concerns about her performance as a teacher or otherwise.

The authorities in the school were gutless. The consequences of their lack of courage made it easy for my girlfriend to blame herself. Indeed, she cast about searching for reasons inside herself, to explain why her employment was so cruelly and abruptly terminated.

In the end, the authorities salved their conscience by keeping her on as an employee until the end of that school year. However, she was deprived of all her teaching duties and told not to report to work.

The experience was shattering for her. She walked away with none of her long service leave or other conditions of employment. She was severely wounded, yet still unable to accept that it was her lesbian orientation that had forced the school's hand.

I am not a Christian myself, but I do understand why sincere Christians would find it difficult to believe that other Christians could behave in such a cruel and bigoted fashion.

This is just one more sad story to show the need for shifts and movement within the Christian world to open its practice to all sincere believers.

One's gender and sexual orientation are but a small part of a whole identity. Where is the contradiction between who one loves, and how one loves, for a Christian?

Anonymous said...

Well done 100 REVS.

You have so many messages of suport and worthy support to boot!

What happens now?

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