On April 20-21, 2018, a select group of lay members, pastors, educators, and church administrators attended a meeting held at the headquarters of the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to participate in a workshop and preview a new resource titled Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones: Adventist Edition.
The guide was produced by the NAD Commission on Human Sexuality and clearly reinforces the biblical position of the Adventist Church on marriage and human sexuality, while adjusting family members posture to love others like God has loved them.
Meeting attendees were reminded of the role that all church members play as loving caretakers of those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT+). Case studies were examined showing real life examples of young people in Christian homes and churches as they dealt with new feelings, guilt, and questions of faith identity. Participants took part in small group discussion where they could freely share questions about how to compassionately reach out to some who may feel excluded from the church. At the end of the two-day session, the group affirmed the need to uphold the biblical position on human sexuality, but also expressed the strong desire to let their words, actions, and attitudes reflect those of Jesus.
The guide serves to help improve church members' ability to demonstrate the love of Jesus to those in our Adventist homes, churches, or schools who are of another orientation and/or identity. It introduces the reader to a glossary of terms used to identify the various groups in the LGBT+ community; guidance is provided on developing a care plan built on trust; common answers to tough questions; biblically based examples of how to pray in faith and trust in God; and why it is important to remain faithful to the Bible.
Copies of Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones: Adventist Edition can be ordered through AdventSource at www.AdventSource.org; or call 1-800-328-0525.