For those who have been asking, the Quarryville Affirming Gender Seminar in February went terrifically. We had folks from all over the area who came to the three sessions (Friday night, Saturday morning) and brought their questions and struggles with them. Though the people from my congregation had an edge in the Book-Give-Away-Bible-Question contests (because they hear me talk every week and have picked up clues along the way), one out-of-towner still won one anyway.
They came with suspicions. They came with burdens. Pastor Brett Rush came with his guitar and led us into the Presence of the Giver of the gift. But most of all, they came with the questions that have become all too common to me. I hear them repeated as I speak and talk to people all over. I have now spoken on gender to gatherings in different areas of the country (New York, North Carolina, Alaska, different parts of Pennsylvania, Washington state, Kansas, California, Washington D.C. and New Jersey). It does not seem to matter where one lives. Even correspondence with those outside the country (like Ukraine or Tasmania…yeah, Tasmania-there are real people there and everything) brings similar queries:
“I feel overwhelmed: How do I love my son/friend/relative who has announced that he is gay?”
“How can I as a woman take this particular Scripture seriously as God’s word” (of a verse such as 1Corinthians 11:7, but really, take your pick of several)?
“Still, though, there is something about football that is manly…right? …Come on, right? …No really, right?”
“What do I say to the parents of this child in the class I teach who is transitioning?”
“Our marriage is stuck and we don’t know what to do about it.”
“Do you understand how strong these feelings are to live as the other gender I feel I am?”
“What about stay-at-home dads? Is that genderly proper?”
“How do I deal with my same-sex attraction as a Christian?”
“My child is playing with the wrong type of toy. Should I worry? What should I do?”
One of the attendees even wrote about her experience from the weekend, which account found its way to me and which she gave permission to include on our Speaker page.
These were all great. But the best thing about the conference for me was the fair number of local pastors and ministry leaders who attended. The real need of Christ’s church is to have her shepherds and teachers equipped and confident to lead her forward through gender confusion. Leadership was multiplied that weekend. Hoo-rah!
The food was also a high point, but then again, this is the Shire, so it is to be expected. Thank you, Faith Church, for backing me up on this and serving the larger Body of Christ. Love you!
Coming soon: AffirmingGender’s updated calendar. If you missed this one, maybe you can catch another gender affirming event near you.
Would you like to bring an AffirmingGender event to your church or area?