I began to find my voice and share my story when an author friend approached me to talk about ‘coming out’. This conversation became a contribution to her book:
The Exuberant Church:
Listening to the prophetic people of God
by Barbara Glasson
• A visionary understanding of the nature and mission of church
• One of the most exciting new voices in pastoral theology
• Will give hope and inspiration to ministers and lay people
Published May 2011 – Paperback 160pp
ISBN: 978-0-232-528619 – Price: £14.99
This visionary book from one of the most intriguing and unsettling new voices to have emerged from the churches in recent years finds life and growth in surprising places.
Barbara Glasson’s widely discussed book, I am somewhere else: Gospel reflections from an emerging church (DLT 2006), described ‘the bread church’, the inclusive faith community in Liverpool where people gathered to bake bread and worship God together. She has since worked with lesbian, gay and transgender Christians, with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, with a group of disabled ministers and with other individuals and groups dealing with trauma and displacement. It is in these ‘prophetic communities’ that she has discovered new ways of understanding the transforming power of the love of God. The ‘exuberant church’ is not a church on a ‘journey’, not an ‘emerging church’, but something more explosive and unpredictable and messy, a church undergoing the strange , frightening but liberating process of ‘coming out’.
In The Exuberant Church we are invited to a new way of understanding mission and the church. At a time of meltdown, reorientation and confusion, Barbara Glasson sees hope for the churches in communities sometimes seen as threatening and troubling, and in the process of ‘coming out’ something both profoundly human and deeply of God.
BARBARA GLASSON is a pastoral theologian working amongst people of many different faiths and human experiences.
She is a Methodist minister and leader at Touchstone – a listening community in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
She lives and works in the city centre, is a member of the Bradford Faith’s Forum and Bradford University faith advisors’ team and an honorary chaplain to Bradford Cathedral.
She is also the author of:
– Mixed up blessing: A new encounter with being Church (Inspiration Press 2005)
– A spirituality of survival: Enabling a response to trauma and abuse (Bloomsbury 2009).
In her spare time Barbara is learning to weave!
Listen to Barbara Glasson at the Greenbelt festival in 2011 (1 hour 9 minutes:
UPDATE September 2015: Inclusive Church Sunday
Barbara Glasson returned to St Bride’s Liverpool – You can hear her reflection ‘What does it mean to be an Inclusive Church?’ here:
UPDATE July 2019: So what’s the story?
Delighted that my husband Warren and I, and the Open Table network we help to host, got a mention in the address given by the Revd Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference, to the Conference on Saturday 29 June 2019. She is President until June 2020 and is inviting churches to reflect on the story of their faith and community.