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Surry Hills Baptist Church
27 Feb to 01 Mar 2014

She asked me, “How do the gay people in your church know that it's safe to come and talk to you?” — Rev. Matt Glover

Forums and Panellists
Thu 27 Feb to Sat 1 Mar 2014.

All conference sessions will be held on the ground floor of the NSW Teacher's Federation, 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010. Enter via Mary Street, not Reservoir St, and veer left. All sessions will provide the opportunity for questions, perhaps with moderation by a facilitator.

Note: 19 Feb → Sessions 7 and 8 have swapped. Session #5 has moved back half an hour to 1:30.

1
Same-sex attraction in Christian churches and ministry families.
5
Same sex intercourse and biblical morality.
2
The challenge of talking about same sex issues in Christian churches, schools and colleges.
6
Pastoral care and the LGBT communities
3
Friday 9:30am (rego: 8:30; open: 9:00).
Same sex orientation, celibacy and change.
7
Saturday 9:30am (rego: 8:30; open: 9:00).
“LGB ... T?” -- Transgender experiences of church.
4
Q&A with LGBT politicians and lobbyists.
8
Same sex marriage, biblical ideals of marriage and political advocacy.

Forum #1. Thursday 7:00pm.

Same-sex attraction in Christian churches and ministry families.

  • Three panellists speak about their different experiences with same sex questions in churches and ministry families. (Identities are not being advertised.)

Forum #2. Thursday 8:15pm.

The challenge of talking about same sex issues in Christian churches, schools and colleges.

Matt Glover

Will a minister who pursues pastoral care of LGBT people in an Evangelical church simply have to resign in the end? Rev. Matt Glover, has been there and done that. Nowadays he is director of Melbourne's MGA Counselling Services and specialises in the areas of sexuality, spirituality and mental health. He runs professional development seminars for those in the helping professions working with LGTBI clients, a spiritual formation program for LGTBI people with faith backgrounds, and the What I would like you to know project.

Rod Bower

Rev. Rod Bower of Gosford Anglican Church describes himself as an Anglican Priest who is passionate about a spirituality that honours human integrity. He is also the man behind some notably viral church signs on same sex marriage and asylum seekers.

Why so, and how's that working out?

Anthony Venn-Brown

Anthony Venn-Brown was a minister in the Assemblies of God until resigning and coming out in 1991, a story he tells in his autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning'. He co-founded Freedom 2 b[e]; Australia’s leading support network for LGBT people from Christian backgrounds, and has twice been voted one of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians. He is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors and Bridge Builders International (ABBI) which consults with Christian leaders, churches, Bible Colleges and other organisations on LGBT issues.

Forum #3. Friday 9:30am.

Same sex orientation, celibacy and change.

Stuart Edser

Dr Stuart Edser is the Principal Psychologist at Newcastle Psychology & Health. He has several degrees in psychology and education, including a PhD. He was a minor seminarian in the Catholic Church living in a monastery for three years as an early teen, but also an elder, leader, preacher, teacher and church planter in the Protestant evangelical and charismatic wing of the Church. After years of struggle and self-acceptance, he now lives happily with his partner Chris and is the author of the book 'Being Gay Being Christian.'

Ross Cole

Dr. Ross Cole is a senior lecturer in Old Testament at Avondale College’s Lake Macquarie Campus. He pastored Seventh-day Adventist churches in Australia and New Zealand for seven years before becoming a pastoral trainer at Sonoma Adventist College near Rabaul in Papua New Guinea in 1988. His 1996 PhD from Andrews University in Michigan was on Old Testament indicators of the temporal, spatial, and personal extent of the applicability of its various laws. He is currently co-authoring one on Christian sexual ethics and is the proud Dad of two adult children, Sheldon and Alicia.

Liberty Christian Ministries

A guest from Liberty will be the third participant in this discussion. Their aim is "to offer support, hope and education to Christian men and women who struggle with the relational and sexual brokenness associated with unwanted same-sex attraction," and do not advocate sexual orientation change, aiming rather "to help people live holy lives in God’s sight, as laid out in Scripture (1 Peter 1:13-16), though orientation change can occur as brokenness is healed."

Forum #4. Friday 11:15am.

Q&A with LGBT politicians and lobbyists.

Rodney Croome

Rodney is the National Director of Australian Marriage Equality, spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, and one of the founders of the Australian Coalition for Equality (ACE). He fronted the successful campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in Tasmania, which until 1 May 1997 was a criminal offence punishable by up to 25 years in jail. In 2010, he co-authored a book presented the “Yes/No” cases for marriage equality, entitled Why vs Why: Gay Marriage (Pantera Press). He has also been awarded countless honours in recognition of his work in advocating for the LBGTI community.

Louisa Wall

Louisa is a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Manurewa. In May 2012, she submitted a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in New Zealand to the private member's bill ballot, and it was subsequently drawn from the ballot and introduced to Parliament in late July 2012. On 29 August 2012, the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill passed its first reading and on 17 April 2013, the bill was passed into law, making New Zealand the 13th nation to allow same-sex marriage. Wall said the passing of the bill was like winning a "World Cup final". (And she has won one of those, with the NZ women's rugby team in 1998, when she wasn't representing NZ in netball.)

Alex Greenwich

Alex Greenwich is the member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Sydney since the 2012 Sydney by-election. He ran as an independent and was backed by his predecessor, independent Clover Moore. He is one of two openly gay male MPs in the NSW Legislative Assembly; the other being Bruce Notley-Smith of the Liberal Party. Greenwich is also the first same-sex married politician in a parliament in Australia. Prior to entering politics, Greenwich was a prominent LGBT rights activist and the National Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality. (From: Wikipedia)

Forum #5. Friday 1:30pm.

Same sex intercourse and biblical morality.

Karl Hand

Karl Hand is an ordained minister in Metropolitan Community Church, and the founding pastor of Crave MCC in Sydney Australia. He teaches Greek exegesis, holds two masters degrees in theology and philosophy, and is in the final stages of submitting his PhD through Charles Sturt University on the source history of the gospel of Luke. Since coming out at 21, he has been involved in several church settings – from Evangelical to High Church, to living in Franciscan Community. He is passionate about Jesus, people, spirituality, grassroots theology, and social transformation, and is the co-convenor of Community Action Against Homophobia.

Nigel Chapman

Nigel Chapman (M.Div) is Church Secretary of Surry Hills Baptist Church, and lives in Darlinghurst. His background is Evangelical and charismatic. He moved to the inner city to try and address a number of issues in western missions, among which LGBT questions are the most conspicuously tense and discrediting. He finds none of the existing Evangelical approaches or understandings to be satisfactory, and is in the process of enrolling in a research doctorate to test some different proposals theologically.

Forum #6. Friday 3:15pm.

Pastoral care and the LGBT communities.

Rowland Croucher

Rev. Dr. Rowland Croucher is an Australian pastor, counsellor and author based in Melbourne, Victoria. A Founding Director of John Mark Ministries, Rowland has been in ministry since he was 13 and began his theological training in 1964 at the NSW Baptist Theological College. John Mark Ministries exists to serve pastors, ex-pastors, church leaders and their spouses throughout Australia and elsewhere and their website is one of the most accessed religious websites online. He has also authored 12 books and countless articles.

Margaret Mayman

Rev. Dr. Margaret Mayman has just moved from Wellington to Sydney to become the minister of Pitt St Uniting Church near Town Hall. She was active in the New Zealand campaigns for civil unions, and then marriage equality. She married her partner Clare in 2013, in part, ironically, because the church would not accrue retirement benefits for their 2006 civil union. She brings to the forum a long experience of pastoring mixed congregations of straight and LGBTI church members, as well as her own personal experience.

Edward Vaughan

Edward Vaughan is currently the minister of St John's Anglican Church in Darlinghurst.

He has previously worked in ministry in the inner western suburbs of Sydney, and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.

Forum #7. Saturday 9:30am.

“LGB ... T?” -- Transgender experiences of church.

  • Three transgender panellists speak about their experience of church. (Identities are not being advertised.)

Rhett Pearson,
Facilitator

Rhett arrived in Sydney from Aotearoa in 2011, and three days later found himself at A Different Conversation to listen. A year later and he was organising ADC and sharing his story. Now it's 2014 and he's helping to steer the ship once more. Having spoken at various events and forums, Rhett will be guiding the conversation as we introduce the transgender narrative to A Different Conversation in 2014.

Mike Hercock

Pastor Mike Hercock founded and pastored Imagine, Surry Hills Baptist Church, and subsequently founded both 100Revs and A Different Conversation. He has been involved in a wide range of inner-city ministries involving the LGBT community. He will be speaking about pastoral care for transgender people in a congregation. He has just completed a Masters in Counseling and lives with his family in Surry Hills.

Forum #8. Saturday 11:30am.

Same sex marriage, biblical ideals of marriage and political advocacy.

Matt Glover

Will a minister who pursues pastoral care of LGBT people in an Evangelical church simply have to resign in the end? Rev. Matt Glover, has been there and done that. Nowadays he is director of Melbourne's MGA Counselling Services and specialises in the areas of sexuality, spirituality and mental health. He runs professional development seminars for those in the helping professions working with LGTBI clients, a spiritual formation program for LGTBI people with faith backgrounds, and the What I would like you to know project.

Maya Newell

Maya is the driving force behind the recent ABC documentary "Growing Up Gayby" which reflected on the experiences of children growing up with parents in a same-sex relationship. For this she interviewed families with same-sex parents and explored life from the child's perspective and experience, speakign to "gaybies" directly about their experience. And yes, well spotted -- that is Fred Nile's elbow in the photo. She interviewed him too.

Lyle Shelton

Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He has been a journalist in rural Queensland and in Melbourne, a youth minister, a city councillor, and a political adviser, and joined the Australian Christian Lobby as Chief of Staff in 2007, becoming its managing director in May 2013. He is active in lobbying for traditional marriage and for gambling reform for poker machines, amongst a wider spectrum of social issues.

Inquiries

Nigel Chapman, M.Div.
Church Secretary, Surry Hills Baptist Church
Mobile 0437 49 45 49
Email: <nigel@imagine.org.au> Admin: <info@diffcon.org>

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