Open Hearts Open Doors

Open Hearts Open Doors

A Biblical Approach to Caring for our Same-Sex Attracted Neighbours

How can we make our churches places of genuine welcome for same-sex attracted people, while being faithful to what the Bible teaches about gender and sexuality? That is the question the Open Hearts, Open Doors seminar will seek to address.

This seminar is designed especially for members of the Christian Reformed Church who want to give loving expression to what their denomination teaches about gender and sexuality. It will not invite debate about theology. The focus will be on learning how to extend a welcome that is as wide as Jesus’ own embrace!
If you want practical help to extend care to your same-sex attracted neighbours, friends and family members in a way that is consistent with the denomination’s teaching, this seminar is for you!

Our speaker, Mark Elvin, is uniquely equipped to lead us in this seminar both because of his training and his personal experience. He is an ordained priest with the United Anglican Church of Canada.
He works with Journey Canada helping men and women to address unwanted relational and/or sexual issues. He also serves as a Spiritual Director with the Urban Sanctuary ministry, walking alongside many men and women on their journey of faith.
Mark is same sex-attracted. Therefore, he understands, on a personal level, the pain and challenge of those who struggle similarly. Mark is happily married to Churyl, and together they have four children and five grandchildren.

Session One

Living with Same-Sex Attraction
Being raised in a traditional Christian home, accepting Jesus in a conservative Church, and then discovering that he is same-sex attracted, made Mark’s personal journey a tumultuous one. Mark will describe his story of struggle, hope, failure, and success as he moved toward a Biblical understanding of faith and sexuality. Following the presentation there will be opportunity for questions.

Session Two

Caring for Same-Sex Attracted People and their Families.
Being same-sex attracted comes with unique struggles and challenges. How do parents guide and express love to their children who reveal that they are gay? How can we best love same sex-attracted friends and extended family members? This session will address these very personal, but very real, issues.

Session Three

Making Our Churches Places of Welcome for Same-Sex Attracted People
It is one thing to know what we believe about same-sex attraction. It is another thing to love and embrace same-sex attracted people. In this session, Mark will describe how we can make our churches places of genuine welcome—safe places where all people, including people of differing sexual orientations, can be touched by the love and Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Schedule

9:00 am Coffee & Registration
9:30 am Session #1—Living with Same-Sex Attraction
10:30 am Q&A with Mark Elvin
11:00 am Coffee Break
11:15 am Session #2—Caring for Same-Sex Attracted People and their Families
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Session #3—Making our Churches Places of Welcome for Same-Sex Attracted People
2:25 pm Small Group Discussion: Where Do We Go From Here?
3:00 pm Closing

Register by visiting:

Or, call Pastor Rich De Lange at Trinity CRC (780) 475-2662
The cost is $20 per person (payable at the door)
Includes lunch, refreshments, and snacks

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