530 Dog Track Rd
Longwood, FL 32750
Google map and directions
Media Contact: Helena Brantley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, Florida – April 2017 – On Thursday, May 18, at 7pm, Northland, A Church Distributed, one of the largest evangelical churches in Orlando, will host a public conversation on how churches can be more inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ people in and around Orlando. This “Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion and Understanding in the Church” event comes almost a year after the Pulse nightclub shooting, the worst attack on the LGBTQ community in American history.
"All too often, conversations about LGBTQ Christians in the church descend into bitterness and acrimony,” says Matthew Vines, executive director and founder of The Reformation Project, the organization that convenes the church discussions. “Again in Orlando, we hope to turn down the volume as we model genuine Christian love, humility, and forbearance in this conversation,” he says.
Reverend Terri Steed Pierce, of Joy Metropolitan Church in Orlando, and Bishop Kelvin Cobaris, of The Impact Church of Orlando, will join Pastor Joel C. Hunter to discuss how Christians can work to make Orlando churches more inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ people, regardless of their churches’ theological positions on marriage and sexuality. Amelia Markham, an organizer with The Reformation Project, will moderate the discussion, and Matthew Vines will facilitate the public Q&A.
Love the Sinner, a short documentary film, that explores the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nighclub in Orlando, will also be shown ahead of the conversation. This documentary was directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir and premiers at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this month.
“This is not meant to be a debate, but a learning time for all who attend,” said Pastor Hunter. “I need to be confronted with how I unintentionally hurt people, or communicate a lack of respect. We all need to stop blaming others and start searching our own hearts for solutions to community divisions,” he said.
Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion and Understanding in the Church is one in a series of public conversations held in churches around the country, to encourage meaningful dialogue among affirming and non-affirming Christians. The discussions are organized by The Reformation Project, a Bible-based, Christian grassroots organization that envisions a global church that fully affirms LGBTQ people.
This conversation is free and open to the greater Orlando community. Registration is required. For updates, please follow #ElevateDialogue across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.