There is a popular misconception that falling into any of the several non-binary, non-heterosexual categories of identity/orientation automatically removes a person from spirituality and faith. Yet, many Lesbian/Gay/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ) persons profess faith or yearn for spirituality. Many have also experienced tremendous spiritual, emotional, and even physical harm done to them in the name of religion. Providing spiritual care among LGBTQ individuals takes time and commitment to build trust, and it must allow for doubts, fears, anger, and hopes to be expressed and engaged. This course is not about developing a Queer Theology or a Queer Biblical Apologetic; rather, it is exploration of the LGBTQ experiences within (and without) faith communities.
Rev. Bert Montgomery is an author, teacher, and minister who advocates for full LGBTQ inclusion and affirmation in churches and in society. He writes reflective and observational columns at the intersection of faith and culture, and often addresses religion and gay rights. He was one of the founding members of the Safe Zone Advisory Board at Mississippi State University, and he pastors a fully welcoming and affirming congregation (University Baptist Church) in Starkville, Mississippi.
Bert’s book Of Mice and Ministers includes a few of those columns as well as larger stories and interviews which provide insights relevant to spirituality and faith-affirming relationships within the LGBTQ community. Using these resources, as well as other online columns he has written, we will explore ways in which we can be ministers to and with our LGBTQ family.
- To learn together how each of us can be a spiritual caregiver to LGBTQ persons.
- To identify specific opportunities in which we spiritually care for, and advocate on behalf of, LGBTQ persons.
- To overcome barriers that hinder the spiritual well-being among LGBTQ family, friends, neighbors, and parishioners.
Of Mice and Ministers: Musings and Conversations About Life, Death, Grace, and Everything – Bert Montgomery – 2014, Smyth & Helwys
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