Safeguarding People who are LGBT+ in the Methodist Church
LGBT+ Safeguarding webinar (Zoom)
You can watch the webinar again below
In this webinar, on 24 January 2023, we explored how we in the Methodist Church can safely welcome people who identify as LGBT+ into our church communities. We looked closely at the decisions arising from the God In Love Unites Us report and the statement from the Constitutional Practice and Discipline of the Methodist Church that:
“Within the Methodist Church […] marriage is understood in two ways: that marriage can only be between a man and a woman; that marriage can be between any two people. The Methodist Church affirms both understandings and makes provision in its Standing Orders for them”
- Revd Charity Nzegwu – Co-Chair of the Justice, Dignity and Solidarity Strategy and Methodist minister:
- Revd Dr Karl Rutlidge – Karl is a Methodist Presbyter in the Kingston Circuit in south-west London, has formerly been part of Stonewall's Trans Advisory Group, and was the first person to candidate for Methodist ministry while transitioning. Pronouns are he/him.
- Sarah Hagger-Holt – Sarah is an author of books for adults and children, including 'Living It Out: A survival guide for lesbian, gay and bi Christians, their friends, families and churches'. She has previously worked for CAFOD, Christian Aid, Stonewall and All We Can and now is a freelance trainer and writer.
- Revd Ashley Cooper – Ashley is a Methodist Presbyter, currently serving as the Principal of Cliff College. Ashley has previously served in the Delamere Forest Circuit, as the District Evangelism Enabler in the Chester and Stoke District and as the Coordinator of District Evangelism Enablers in the Methodist Church before moving to be the Superintendent of the Burslem Mission Circuit. A key part of his ministry has been to implement significant organisational leadership and structural change. In his spare time he is the Chaplain to Port Vale Football Club.
- Revd Delyth Liddell – Delyth is a Methodist Presbyter, Coordinating Chaplain at Cardiff University and a member of the Justice, Dignity and Solidarity Committee of the Methodist Church. She lives in Cardiff where she runs The Gathering, a LGBTQI church.
- Revd Dr Augustine Tanner-Ihm - Augustine is a minister, facilitator, speaker, presenter, educator and an equality, diversity and inclusion consultant. He is currently pursuing a second doctorate in Leadership and Organizational Psychology from Bakke Graduate University in Dallas, Texas. He is an active Anglican priest in the Anglican Communion and a member of the Order of the Mustard Seed.
- Introduction to this topic and what the JDS Strategy seeks to achieve;
- Conversion therapy, the misuse of scripture to target people identifying as LGBT+, tropes round abuse and LGBT+ people and the appropriate and inclusive Christian pastoral response to someone coming out or questioning;
- Sharing some stories of lived experience from people identifying as LGBT+ people in local churches and reflecting on what the church did / could have done to make those people feel more welcome;
- God in Love Unites Us Part 1, acceptance that traditionalists have hurt people who identify as LGBT+, the distinction between theological conviction and homophobia, how Methodists who believe that marriage can only be between a man and a woman can continue to live their life, trying to follow Jesus alongside Methodists who believe that marriage can be between any two people.
- God in Love Unites Us Part 2, the toll taken on LGBT+ people’s mental health by coming to church, living with contradictory convictions, how people who believe that marriage can be between any two people “have not arrived lightly at their ideas that traditional teaching needs to change. They are not careless about scripture. They do not reject Christ. But they have come to a different view on sexuality after long prayer, deep study and reflection on understandings of human nature” (Justin Welby)
- Intersection of being LGBT+ and from an ethnic minority background.
Resources for Safeguarding People who are LGBT+ in the Methodist Church
Contacts for Safeguarding People who are LGBT+ in the Methodist Church