Much of today's culture defines bridge-building and reconciliation as a one-way street that leads to full theological, political and social agreement. Yet Christ demonstrated a different path of religious and cultural engagement to establish his kingdom here on earth. In light of such countercultural principles, the Christian community needs a new view on the issues that divide conservative believers and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Using the practical applications Andrew Marin has learned over the last decade of living and working in the LGBT neighborhood of Chicago called Boystown, as well as his international speaking and consulting ministry, this six-session, video-based study offers a variety of practical teachings, insights and life lessons. Rather than avoiding the topic of homosexuality, Love Is an Orientation aims to equip the Christian community to bridge the gap between LGBT and religious communities. This is not a group study about 'fixing' gay people. It's about getting to know them, engaging them, and loving them like Jesus does. After this study, you, your small group and your church will know what it means to peacefully and productively build bridges with the LGBT community.Earlier today, TMF announced the release date for the LIAO DVD curriculum. It will be released on 12/13/11 (01/01/12 for those not in North America). The DVDs are broken down into six different sessions: 1. Love is an Orientation; 2. Building Bridges between Conservatives and the LGBT Community; 3. Theology of Bridge Builders; 4. Answering the Tough Questions; 5. Teens and Sexuality; and 6. Living in the Tension Gatherings.
Andrew and the folks at TMF also interviewed six LGBT folks from around the country (including me) to offer different perspectives for this viewing audience. I don't know everyone who got interviewed, but I know at least one celibate gay man and one gay-affirming lesbian who participated in the project. Having watched a couple of the others' sessions and knowing what I ended up talking about, I feel like my segment was a little outside of the box. All of the others discussed their coming out journeys and religious perspectives. I spoke mainly about being a married gay dad who belongs to a faith community. Maybe my segment will mesh better with the overall curriculum than I feel. I'm sure I'll find out for certain in December!
Anyway, check out the DVD's Promo Video, which was released earlier today. Keep your eyes peeled for the 1:50 mark and you'll catch a quick glimpse of me. Enjoy!: