Connections & Conversations

Towards inclusion in The Salvation Army

How Did we Get Here? What Does
The Bible Say?
Prayed Away Changed Minds Healing the Divide Change is Possible!

Kathy Baldock

Prof. Dale B. Martin

Anthony Venn Brown

Chick Yuill

Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams

Rev. Mark Rowland

Where did the church’s current climate of discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community come from? Kathy Baldock explores political and societal factors that led to gay, trans and queer people becoming targets for exclusion within society as a whole, but especially within the church.

Conversations in churches about sexuality normally start by asking what the Bible ‘says,’ but the interpreter puts so many of their own assumptions into the text that it is often impossible to tell. Dale Martin explores the difficulties of Biblical interpretation, and applies them to key texts about sexuality.

Many countries around the world are legislating to ban the abusive practice of ‘Conversion Therapy,’ recognising that attempts to reorientate sexuality leave deep and lasting psychological damage. Anthony Venn Brown shares his research and first-hand experience as a survivor of the practice.

For decades, The Salvation Army trained its new soldiers using the book Battle Orders. The material contained comments about homosexuality that, today, would be considered deeply offensive and hurtful by many. Chick Yuill, its author, reflects on his change in theological and pastoral stance since then, and asks – exactly what kind of church do we want to be?

Why has the evangelical church taken such a negative stance toward the transgender community, and what will it take to change the narrative? In this session Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams will guide us through the major reasons for the evangelical church’s current animosity toward the transgender community, and suggest ways in which the church and the trans community can heal the divide.

 In June 2021, the Methodist church in the United Kingdom voted to recognise same sex-marriage. Mark Rowland, who tabled the motion at conference that led to the new position, tells the story of how the change within his denomination came about.

 

Kathy Baldock
is an author, LGBTQ+ advocate and Executive Director of CanyonWorker Connections. She is a leading expert on LGBTQ+ issues in the United States. Her book, Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community explores this very issue.

Dale B. Martin
is a New Testament scholar, and emeritus professor of religious studies at Yale University. He is an authority on the Bible and sexuality. His book Sex and the Single Saviour: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation is an important work that deals with this topic.

Anthony Venn Brown
received the Order of Australia for his work with the victims of sexuality conversion practices and political activism trying to ban the practice. His best-selling autobiography, A Life of Unlearning, tells his own story.

Chick Yuill
is an author, public speaker and radio show host, and for over 35 years he served as a Salvation Army officer in various roles. He now presents a weekly radio show on Premier Christian Radio and has published six novels in recent years.

Paula Stone Williams
is a councillor, and pastor of Left Hand Church in Colorado. After many years serving as the CEO of the Orchard Group church planting organisation, she came out as a transgender woman and was fired as a result. She writes about her story in her book, As A Woman. 

Mark Rowland
is studying his PhD at Leeds University, researching queer holiness, and also works as a chaplain at the University of Warwick. He is a trustee of OneBodyOneFaith and a founder of Dignity and Worth, which are organisations campaigning for greater LGBTQ+ inclusion in the Church.  

What is INCLUDED?

Sit down, relax and know that you are most welcome here. 

This is a place of conversation and learning for all people, but it was specifically created by and for people involved with The Salvation Army so that the voices of LGBTQI+ persons can be heard and celebrated. Though some members of the LGBTQ+ community have found a spiritual home within the Salvation Army, we recognize that many still struggle to be included, with people of diverse sexualities and gender (DSG) sometimes feeling shamed, humiliated or even driven out of our part of the church.

We affirm the creation of all people in the image of God, seeking to discern and respond to that image respectfully, with love and compassion. We hope that you will find INCLUDED to be encouraging, challenging and perhaps even inspiring.

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The views, comments, and statements on this website do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Salvation Army.
They represent the persepctives, theologies, and burning desires of a large and growing community of faith.