When we say that we believe we are called at Vox to be a place where everyone has an opportunity to explore what it means to follow Jesus as his disciple, we understand that this includes our LGBTQ siblings. Whether this is you or someone in your family, we want to do our best to create a safe and generous space for you to join in to community with us. We know that different communities mean different things when they talk about a safe space, so we thought we would take a few minutes to clarify what we mean.
You are not alone.
You won’t be the first LGBTQ person at Vox and we hope you won’t be the last.
We hope you’ll participate.
At Vox we don’t just want you to show up on a Sunday morning and sit through the service with us (although we’ll thoroughly enjoy having you when you do), but we hope that you will join fully into all aspects of our community as you grow in understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.
We know that language matters.
Please introduce yourself with your preferred name and pronouns. If for some reason these change while you are part of our community, please let us know. Our desire to change does not always equal our ability to remember, so please be patient with us as we adjust.
You’re allowed to be yourself.
Please choose the washroom you feel most comfortable using. There are two universal washrooms available for those who will feel most comfortable with these.
We think relationships are important.
Whether you are aiming for faithful celibacy or lifelong marriage, we realize there are unique challenges in both of these choices in our current social context, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. As such, we want to support you wherever you are at along this journey.
We want to move forward together.
For all our good intentions, sometimes we will get this wrong. We are a community full of messy, broken folks who are coming at this from all different perspectives. As we said on our Radical Inclusion page, to be successful at relationships in an inclusive space we will need to be committed to being people of grace. That requires that we give ourselves and each other the room to learn and grow. It also means we won’t always get things perfect the first time. We’re new at this. Things may come up that we’re not sure how to handle the first time. When that happens we hope that we can wrestle together for our next right steps. We commit to love over fear. To faith in the midst of doubt. And to a mutual process of transformation through intentional community.
We understand that there will be those who have questions about our stance on these issues, and that’s okay. We have included links below to let you know what we believe and how we hope to respond.
Vox Teachings on Gender, Sexuality and Radical Inclusion:
- “Rethinking Sexuality” on our Vimeo page.
- From Wrestling to Radical Inclusion on our Vimeo page
- Why Church? – Community on our Vimeo page
- We have greatly appreciated and benefited from what we have learned from the folks at generousspace.ca. Their call to humility, hospitality, mutuality and justice leaves space for all of us to walk this journey towards love and inclusion together.
- Tony Campolo has also made the journey from conservative to affirming, and went on the record in June of 2015 ‘urging the church to be more welcoming’ to the LGBT community after years of publicly debating against such a position.
- This is a link to a helpful discussion about transgender issues called “Trans 101”. While the young lady explaining these issues may have some different opinions than Vox as a faith community, she does a very good job of explaining the various differences between sex, gender and sexuality.
- At Vox we choose to refer to all individuals in the way they prefer to be referred to. That means that we refer to transgender individuals with their chosen name and pronouns. To familiarize yourself with vocabulary surrounding these types of situations we recommend reading the GLAAD Media Reference Guide on Transgender Issues.
- “Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality” by Debra Hirsch does a great job of navigating these issues with a strong understanding of the scriptures, a deep desire to honour and follow Jesus, as well as a gentle and gracious spirit as a bi-sexual individual, working with the LGBTQ community.
- Generous Space has also produced a number of books and video resources, including their most recent production ‘Belonging in the Body: Transgender Journeys of Faith’. Here is a link to the trailer for the video.