Category Archives: Christianity

Here I stand – The second step on the #JourneyOfHope

LAST MONTH I wrote about becoming a participant on the Journey of Hope pilgrimage of training in ‘Christian peace-building and reconciliation… to inspire and equip Christian leaders to become skilled practitioners of reconciliation in their churches and communities.’ reconcilerstogether.co.uk On the brink of the second step on this journey, I wrote about the first – so it is again this… Read more »

In praise of God for LGBT History Month

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FEBRUARY is LGBT History Month in the UK, an annual commemoration of the lives and achievements of LGBT+ people. Now in its 15th year, it was set up by Schools Out UK, which has campaigned for LGBT+ inclusion through education since 1974. This year’s theme is Peace, Activism and Reconciliation, as 2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, a… Read more »

Turning to one another – Setting out on a #JourneyOfHope

LAST AUTUMN I saw an advert for a fully-funded six-month training programme in ‘Christian peace-building and reconciliation… to inspire and equip Christian leaders to become skilled practitioners of reconciliation in their churches and communities.’ It seemed too good to be true – an opportunity for fully-funded personal and professional development at a time when I was about to step out… Read more »

Stop the deportation of Yew Fook Sam – Sign the Home Office petition

Yew Fook Sam, known as Sam, from Liverpool, Merseyside, has had his request for asylum rejected by the Home Office and fears he will now be detained and deported. Sam is 67 years old, in poor physical health, and facing physical punishment or imprisonment if he is forced to return to Malaysia because he is openly gay. The Home Office… Read more »

Live fully, love wastefully, be all you can be – A reflection for #Christmas by John Shelby Spong

AT A carol service this month, hosted by the Open Table inclusive Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share. It’s an extract from a lecture called ‘Jesus for the non-religious’ by John Shelby Spong, a retired US Episcopalian Bishop: Suppose we change our God definition. Suppose we take… Read more »

Welcome into the story! A reflection for the YMCA Christmas carol service

LAST WEEK the YMCAs in the Liverpool City Region gathered for a carol service in the city’s Parish Church, opposite the world famous Liver Building. As the chaplain for YMCA Liverpool, and just starting as chaplain for the YMCA in the neighbouring town of St Helens, I gave a reflection on the Christmas story and what it means for the… Read more »

The book I wish I had written – Queer and Catholic: A Life Of Contradiction by Mark Dowd

THIS BLOG began as I turned 42 in 2012, as: an attempt to be heard, not just for myself, but for other lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians who struggle with their sexual orientation in faith communities that judge them, at best, to be defective heterosexuals, rather than recognising and valuing the gifts and insights that embracing their diversity can bring.[1] Six years… Read more »

What Open Table means to me… Guest post by Jen

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LAST WEEKEND Open Table – an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who seek an inclusive Church – took part in a day conference called Gathering Voices – From Welcome to Affirmation. As part of that event I hosted a workshop called… Read more »

Just do it, for God’s sake! Reflecting on the Christian mission of the YMCA

LAST MONTH, I spent three days with colleagues from around a dozen other YMCAs at the UK Unify conference, a platform for YMCAs to share and reflect on the Christian mission of what is now the largest and oldest youth charity in the world. I was expecting the conference to be mostly chaplains and managers, but people with all kinds… Read more »

The power of story – Guest post by Warren for National Coming Out Day

ON Sunday 14th October 2018, Warren Hartley, co-facilitator of Open Table in Liverpool, was invited to speak at the Open Table community service at St John’s United Reformed Church Warrington. As 11th October is now marked around the world as National Coming Out Day, Warren took ‘coming out’ as his theme: I love stories. They have fascinated me most of… Read more »