Sunday, May 17, 2009

LGBT family-inclusive faith curriculum launched, fills gap

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leading organizations have released a curriculum designed to help faith communities support and embrace lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources, COLAGE and Family Equality Council announced that this multimedia curriculum will go a long way in providing the necessary tools to make faith communities affirming of LGBT people and their families.

“While many churches have done very well welcoming individual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members into their midst, many have not done so well with LGBT families,” says the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Institute for Welcoming Resources and faith work director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “But LGBT families deserve the same love and honor as all of God’s beloved families. This curriculum helps congregations extend God’s extravagant welcome to all of God’s families — especially LGBT families.”

All in God’s Family includes concrete tools to educate faith leaders, including a step-by-step guide to supporting LGBT families of faith and tools for facilitating group learning, community dialogue, Bible study and community action planning to highlight LGBT families in our communities. Additionally, the curriculum includes Families Like Mine, a book about adults with LGBT parents written by Abigail Garner, whose father is gay; the youth-produced documentary In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents; and a CD containing the phototext exhibit “That’s So Gay: Portraits of Youth with LGBT Parents.”

“I know many LGBT parents who struggle with faith,” says Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council. “It can be difficult to find a congregation that feels welcoming and supportive. Though they want raise their children in a community that shares their values and beliefs, LGBT parents also want their children to be embraced. That’s why we partnered to put together All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for our LGBT Families. We know there are thousands of congregations out there that want to embrace our families. We want to give them the tools to do so more fully.”

“For youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, finding a faith community where your family is respected and reflected can be a challenge,” says Meredith Fenton, COLAGE program director. “COLAGE is pleased to be a partner on All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for our LGBT Families and invites your faith community to use these tools to move beyond acceptance to full inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ families.”

All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families can be acquired for a suggested donation of $50.00. As a special promotion, the first 50 congregations to request the curriculum will receive it for free. All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families can be acquired at

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