Need to find a church, gay friendly, Watford.

(37 Posts)
MrsGumboots Thu 17-Oct-13 14:46:30

My faith is very important to me, and also to my new partner. Who happens to be a woman too shock. We are no longer welcome at the church we went to hmm, and where we met. But we are finding it hard to find a church. We would prefer a church in Watford, but are happy to travel a little. Trying one this sunday it sounds like its mostly old people....... anyone help? sad

I would be surprised if Soul Survivor Watford was Gay-friendly. But whatever the views of some members of the church there will be other members who will be accepting and loving etc.

Have you visited these websites at all...

www.acceptingevangelicals.org/

www.titipu.demon.co.uk/samesexunions/gayfaithorgs.htm

MrsGumboots did you find a church?

This may help but you may need to go into London for one on here as I have already looked, but it is probably updated sometimes.

www.gaychurch.org/list-churches-by-country/

MaryBS Mon 21-Oct-13 16:06:55

It may be worth asking on the website Ship of Fools, if you know it. This forum is probably the best one to ask your question:
forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=4

Yougotbale Sat 19-Oct-13 11:35:19

It's also interesting that religions start off as fundamental. They don't start out as moderate. They become moderate when people see how wacky the religion is in fundermental form. Also they get more moderate as society becomes more secular. I think that moderates probably obscure the religion from being question for what it is.

Yougotbale Sat 19-Oct-13 11:27:05

Coupon - I suppose. The books are open to interpretation. If they can be interpreted as homophobic then they probably are. It's interesting that when society was homophobic, the books were interpreted to reinforce homophobia. I don't remember the church standing up to society. It's also interesting that the church has taken longer to lose homophobia than society. For a supposedly non homophobic organisation that interests me.

I think the guys that wrote the bible put it in for a reason. But there isn't anyway of knowing if any of stories in the bible happened or are true. If the bible actually means what it is perceived as meaning. You may get hell or heaven and find out its interpretation is all wrong. It isn't possible to say whether God is apalled by its interpretation and will judge all Christians with hell on death.
So in my opinion, you have as much ability to rewrite, change, interpret it how you like.
I don't mind what you do with the book, but I do mind discrimination be it sexism, homophobia, peadophilia, etc.....the churches, leaders, followers seem happy to brush this stuff off. They are so scared of their own religion, to make a stand, or question.

Coupon Sat 19-Oct-13 08:59:14

Great post and link BelfastBloke smile

Coupon Sat 19-Oct-13 08:58:49

Yougotbale there has been a good deal of theological debate about Leviticus. The verses about men not lying with men are actually part of the "Holiness Code" which is a ritual for Israel's priests. Sex between men was used to demonstrate dominance of one group of men over another, particularly in times of war. These verses have nothing to do with loving relationships between people of the same gender - unless you're a fundamentalist who takes them out of context!

The "abomination" mentioned in Leviticus is unlikely to be referring to gay sex between loving partners. The original word is "toevah" which is usually associated with idolatry and so the passage is probably about the Canaanite religious practice of cult prostitution.

My religion doesn't frustrate me, as it is a personal relationship with God through Jesus, it's not defined by other people or organisations. But yes of course I find it frustrating when I see unfair discrimination in churches. I don't think God is going to judge organisations, he is concerned with what is in the heart of the individual.

I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion, so yes I think churches/religions that I strongly disagree with should still be allowed to practice. However, I don't think it's right that the Church of England, which is meant to be equally available to everyone, should be able to discriminate. I think they should either include everyone properly, or lose the right to be the state church.

How about you, do you think religious people should take their historical books literally word for word, or read them in context and interpret them as best they can? Do you think religious groups should only exist if everyone in them agrees on everything? Do you think open-minded religious people should give up on meeting with others of similar views, and let the bigots take over all the organised groups?

BelfastBloke Sat 19-Oct-13 02:30:29

Have you heard of the pro-gay NALT Christians project? The videos on there should help clarify to posters such as Yougotbale that while s/he might enjoy dismissing the whole of Christianity by parroting the rhetoric of fundamentalists, Christianity is, at the very least, multifaceted.

About the NALT Christians Project
The purpose of The NALT Christians Project is to give any and all LGBT-affirming Christians a means of sharing their belief that there is nothing anti-biblical or sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

How does it work? You make a YouTube video saying that you are both Christian and fully affirming of LGBT-people; you upload your video onto your (free and easily obtainable) YouTube channel; via the Submit form on the NALT Christians website you inform the NALT gang that your video is ready to go; soon thereafter your video is added to the chorus of other videos on the NALT Christians website that are helping to change the world.

Why should I make a NALT Christians video?

To refute the widespread belief that Christianity is synonymous with anti-gay bigotry.*
To counteract the destructive effects on all young people of the message that God condemns and rejects LGBT people.
To support and encourage other LGBT-affirming Christians.

Yougotbale Sat 19-Oct-13 01:58:52

Coupon - would you rather get rid of the comments in Leviticus?
Do you think god will ultimately bring judgement upon the homophobic churches, in your opinion?
Does your religion frustrate you that you are only as good as your weakest link?
Finally, do you think that homophobic/sexist/anti other religions(sorry can't think of the word)/racist, etc churches should still be allowed to practice, in your opinion?

Coupon Sat 19-Oct-13 01:30:31

Yougotbale my view is that homophobia isn't compatible with the teachings of Jesus to love our neighbour and not judge others. Fundamentalists take the Bible literally word-for-word including obscure comments in Leviticus. Liberal Christians such as myself tend to follow "scripture, reason and tradition", so not just scripture out of context.

Who is a "real" Christian? Anyone who has genuinely given their life to Christ and follows him. This obviously includes people who disagree about certain things, because no-one is perfect and of course we get things wrong. I don't get hung up on judging whether other Christians are "real", I leave that to the fundamentalists. If any of us are going to have humility as a Christian we have to accept we don't have all the answers.

Yougotbale Sat 19-Oct-13 00:29:09

Do these churches follow a judeo-Christian philosophy? Are you saying that's these churches are wrong in being homophobic? Which church do you belong to and are they homophobic?

I know Christians that don't believe in the concept of heaven and hell. So everyone can choose.

So you wouldn't come up on a census as Christian? It's more to do with churches then right? Who are the real Christians? The homophobes or the pro gay Christians?

Coupon Sat 19-Oct-13 00:11:48

> I think it is, I think you'd be deluded to think it isn't. Maybe I'm wrong.....Christianity start with gay marriage and only recently allowed hetero marriage. Sorry ...... I was supposed to write that on the 'anyone no where there is a straight friendly church' thread.

You're confusing Christianity with certain church organisations Yougotbale. Many Christians, within the church or not, have no problem whatsoever with homosexuality.

Yougotbale Sat 19-Oct-13 00:07:42

Coupon - you said : Christianity isn't homophobic, Yougotbale.

I think it is, I think you'd be deluded to think it isn't. Maybe I'm wrong.....Christianity start with gay marriage and only recently allowed hetero marriage. Sorry ...... I was supposed to write that on the 'anyone no where there is a straight friendly church' thread.

Rosieres - But why do some people try and police another person's sexuality or religious choices?

Religion is a persons interpretation??? Religious people are trying to police and govern the OP's sexuality and marginalise her for that.

The fact you have said, I think it's fine if someone is gay and wishes to openly live their life that way. I think it's fine if someone is spiritual/religious and wishes to openly live their life that way. Makes me think you don't think it's fine. I could understand you saying that if people were saying it wasn't fine, but they haven't. Have you ever in your life said, 'I think it's fine for someone to live their life openly as a heterosexual if they want'?
It maybe better to answer the question but if a Jewish poster asked me details on a Jewish friendly neo-nazi meet, I'd question it. It's there choice but I'd question it.
Remember that her faith has attacked her. I'm sorry but I don't tend to not get pissed off by discrimination.
You wrote:
That's as bad form as launching a homophobic attack on someone who posts that they are gay and want to meet other gay people in their area.
I don't know where to start with this?!? Firstly it wouldn't be the same. Can you not see there is only one factor in your example 'gay'. Your example would be the same as attacking a Christianity, if a Christian was asking where they could meet Christians.
You also say that 'the most appropriate response' is to answer the question. Do you think it is appropriate to ignore homophobia? What about Sexism?racism?peadophilia?.......I guess you only feel it is appropriate to react to someone commenting on your religion.

Think for yourself. Religion is big enough and ugly enough to look after itself.

Rosieres Fri 18-Oct-13 22:50:16

I wonder what governs one set of inclinations being acceptable and another not?

I think it's fine if someone is gay and wishes to openly live their life that way. I think it's fine if someone is spiritual/religious and wishes to openly live their life that way. But why do some people try and police another person's sexuality or religious choices?

Surely when someone posts that they are looking for a church, the most appropriate response is to answer their question, not attack their faith. That's as bad form as launching a homophobic attack on someone who posts that they are gay and want to meet other gay people in their area.

Coupon Fri 18-Oct-13 21:00:53

Christianity isn't homophobic, Yougotbale. Christianity is following Jesus, not going along with everything an institution says. Christianity and church (a community of other Christians) are just as much the OP's as anyone else's. Why should all the tolerant Christians have to give up church and leave it to the closed-minded?

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 18-Oct-13 19:23:28

Was going to say "Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality", but Niminy beat me to it.smile

You, the whole of our society was (and to quite an extent still is) homophobic and sexist at heart. I love to see these challenged. The OP is free to challenge and try to change these outdated notions wherever and however she choses. Obviously she does not see Christianity as incompatible to the rights of women and gay people (and she is far from alone) so why should she allow the prejudices of some to deny her something she considers important?

prairiegirl81 Fri 18-Oct-13 18:45:21

Ooops, and I forgot to mention this church as well, also Anglican. It looks quite 'High Church' but also openly professes its inclusivity:

www.saintjohnswatford.org.uk/index.html

prairiegirl81 Fri 18-Oct-13 18:40:51

MrsGumboots, I don't know Watford really, but I am aware of an Anglican (C of E) Church that is inclusive and would welcome you and your partner. Perhaps you might like to check it out one Sunday. I have no idea of the age/make up of the congregation.

standrewswatford.org.uk/

I also knew someone a few years ago who went to Soul Survivor; she is gay, but I don't know if she was 'out' at church or not. She did like it though and was a member for several years.

FantasticDay mentioned the Quakers and Unitarians. Although not perhaps as Christian as you would like or are used to, they both have congregations in Watford:

www.watfordquakers.org.uk/

www.ukunitarians.org.uk/watford/

I hope you both find what you're looking for and I'm so sorry your previous church has ostracised you in this way. x

FantasticDay Fri 18-Oct-13 18:05:38

Is there a Quaker meeting house or Unitarian congregation near you? They are both vocal in support of same sex marriage etc?

Yougotbale Fri 18-Oct-13 18:01:08

I can observe the church picking and choosing though

Yougotbale Fri 18-Oct-13 17:58:33

Nim - thank you for granting me freedom of speech. So the religion is pro homosexuality? Probably wouldn't need a thread like this then would you? People that attend these homophobic churches are condoning it by proxy.

niminypiminy Fri 18-Oct-13 17:41:09

I think I see what you mean. But you're wrong. Christianity has Jesus at its heart, and Jesus didn't ever say anything about sex. And as a non-Christian you just don't get to say whether the church is picking and choosing in terms of its doctrine. You can make comments from outside, you can not believe, but you can't say what is and what isn't at the centre of Christianity.

Soul Survivor should be a liberal church in Watford.

I've only been twice but it seemed like a cheerful place smile

Yougotbale Fri 18-Oct-13 17:35:19

I'd (instead of if)

Yougotbale Fri 18-Oct-13 17:34:04

Nim - hope this is better.
I'm not keen for the OP to do anything. Christianity is homophobic at its heart. If churches feel they have the power to pick and chose, and decide what is correct, then it makes me think any part can be left out or disregarded. It doesn't really give any of the Christian philosophy any weight, in my opinion.

Homophobia is discusting and any institution that is associated with it doesn't deserve the time of day. Particularly the time of a homosexual.

Non whites could join the BNP but I would question it. If advise against a non-white joining the BNP, even if they liked the party's policy on the NHS.

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