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Risking Grace by Dave & Neta Jackson

For families and friends of gay people

Support Groups


Though we live in the large metropolis of Chicago, we found only one Christian support group for parents when our daughter came out 16 years ago. We visited that group in a far western suburb, but it was such a disaster, we never returned. Of course, there were books sympathetic to gay people, but they weren’t written from our evangelical Christian perspective. So that left us feeling alone, helpless, and guilty with nothing but our long-standing traditional views concerning homosexuality, and they blamed some combination of the family or the child.

Today, there are several groups, some on line and some that may have chapters in your area. Here are a few you might check out:

FreedHearts, click FreedHearts. Founded by Susan Cortrell and her husband, Robert, who have five children, including a queer daughter and a lesbian daughter. Susan's book, "Mom, I'm Gay," and her blog are very helpful. But perhaps more useful is the private Facebook groups for moms and dads. If you are interested, contact them for more information about joining. In addition, the dads and the moms in various locales occasionally gather for mutual support.

The Gay Christian Network, click GCN. While not primarily designed for family and friends, the GCN is grateful and supportive of allies, particular at their annual conference. Evangelical in their theology, their membership includes both those on Side A (supporting same-sex marriage and relationships) and on Side B (promoting celibacy for Christians with same-sex attractions). What began as an organization to provide support to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Christians has grown into a worldwide movement for compassion with many straight members as well.

The Evangelical Network, click TEN. TEN is an association of LGBT&S affirming evangelical ministries and individuals. TEN’s mission is focused on the LGBT community and its allies to:
--Provide a safe place for LGBT people to discover and rediscover Christianity
--Bring together people with a shared faith to worship, evangelize and disciple
--Give people from all different backgrounds an opportunity to be educated about Homosexuality and Christianity
--Afford ministry and growth opportunities to people in the LGBT community
--Hold an annual conference open to all that is designed for networking, fellowship, education and worship
--Offer a safe place for LGBT people and the evangelical church community to dialogue
--Be a voice in the public and media that supports the LGBT community and its struggles for equality, and to speak out against negative stereotypes
This mission is accomplished through an affiliation of churches, ministries and individuals working together.

The Reformation Project, click TRP. Founded by Matthew Vines, The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, nonprofit organization that exists to train Christians to support and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Through building a deep grassroots movement, we strive to create an environment in which Christian leaders will have the freedom to take the next steps toward affirming and including LGBT people in all aspects of church life. They sponsor local Reformation Project chapters.

PFLAG,click PFLAG. (Parents, Families and friends of Lesbians and Gays). Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation's largest family and ally organization. Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and full societal affirmation of LGBTQ people through its threefold mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states. While this is not a Christian organization, it provides solid support for parents and families.

"OneCollege." Informal alumni organizations that support both LGBT students and alumni and their allies have grown up around many Christian colleges and universities. If you have any connection to one of these colleges, they would be glad to provide support. See OneGeorgeFox, Spring Arbor University for Equality, BMC Bethel College Alum, OneHoughton, OneGordon, Baylor Freedom, OneWestmont, Biolans' Equal Ground, Bob Jones Unity, Messiah College Inclusive Alumni, North Park University Queers & Allies, Seattle Pacific University Haven (LGBT), Hope College LGBT, OneWheaton, Cedarville OUT.

© 2015, Dave & Neta JacksonCastle Rock Creative