Just saying g'day...

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Joined in 2010
April 7, 2010, 22:45

I’ve been reading the forum for a couple of weeks now and have appreciated the great honesty and encouragement shown by everybody to everybody. I’ve also been saddened to hear the heart wrenching stories so many of you have been put through at the hands of my brothers and sisters.

I am an ordained Baptist minister in Melbourne, serving in a church that is a mix of suburban and rural people. My journey with the GLBT community wasn’t one that I sought out intentionally – it seemed to come after me instead! All of the churches I have served in have had a number of GLBT folk who spoke about their lives with varying degrees of openess. My story of entering ministry can be told another time, but let me say that gay people were part of nearly every step of my journey, and so I never could understand why those around me were so afraid of the whole homosexuality thing. It just didn’t seem a big deal to me.

Anyway, fast forward to today and ministry with GLBT people is still part of my journey. The only difference now is I’m becoming more and more aware of the deep pain caused by the church that I represent. For me, this makes me hang my head in shame. But it also has made me decide to be more intentional in my support for the GLBT community and do my part in helping whoever want s to, discover a deep, life giving faith in God.

But I also hope to bring my church(es) along on the journey with me, so over the next few years I’ll be studying and writing in a similar vein to Andrew Marin, but in the Australian context. Like him, I’m straight, married and have kids. But I also know that God loves GLBT dearly and that’s good enough for me.

I look forward to meeting some of the Melbournites soon, and am more than happy to meet up with anyone who wants to pray, chat, eat, walk, ride or whatever.

Blessings to you all!


Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
April 7, 2010, 23:13

Hi mrg

That’s so encouraging. Thank you!

Blessings to you and keep up the great work,

Ann Maree

Joined in 2008
April 8, 2010, 00:42

Hey mrg, great to hear from you! Looking forward to hearing more from you. Australia needs an Andrew Marin figure. I know of one in America (well, Andrew Marin himself) and Canada (Wendy Gritter). There may be others. Yet I know of no real Andrew Marin figure in Australia. It’d be great if somebody was willing to dedicate himself to that bridge-building ministry down there!

Just wanted to say also, if you’re going to be in Melbourne, have you met with Ps. Rob Buckingham of Bayside Church yet? Also, if you want to meet a really amazing young gay Christian guy, I have a great friend who fits that description and is in Melbourne right now. Maybe I can tap him to talk with you or something – he’s told me his story before and it is an amazing one. He’s not at all related to F2b though. Which now that I think about it…. I should bring the group up sometime, because he’d probably join it…. hmmm…. sorry if I’m rambling, just thinking out loud here! 🙂 Bringing it back to you though, hehe… this sounds like great news to me and we here would definitely be supportive of that kind of work. Do it, do it, do it! 😀

Joined in 2009
April 8, 2010, 12:06

Hi mrg!!

I would really like to hear your story! I think it is wonderful to see straight christians with a sense of commitment to the gay community or gay people within the church. I came out only recently, after over 30 years in Baptist churches, including periods as a deacon and an elder.

No doubt you’ve seen the posts on here about ‘a different conversation’ and ‘100 revs’. Rowland Croucher’s website is also another great resource.

God bless you!!


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 8, 2010, 14:09

Hi Rev……so great to have you here and to know that you like the space we have created and been touched by our stories.

You will get to engage even more with our community if you want to attend one of our monthly chapter meetings in Melbourne. You would be most welcome. Rowland spoke at the last one…..which I think you are aware of.

it is a new day……and there are people like yourself who are acknowledging that the churches and individuals responses to LGBT people is not as Jesus would have…….and are reaching out over the divide. its a great encouragement to us.

you may have noticed that we actually have a section on the forum for our heterosexual friends and supporters. It wasn’t created to segregate us…..just to let them know that we value them so much they have their own space should they need to discuss some of these issues particularly with other straight Christians and leaders who are on a similar journey.

I also have a secret facebook group for ministers such as yourself……it never show up on peoples profile and only those in the group can read posts or know what is being said. This is to protect people like yourselves from attacks and so you can talk together with the usual polarisation. Let me know if you are interested in joining that group. its invitation only.

Joined in 2009
April 8, 2010, 14:20

I’m was a Baptist Pastor too and missionary but I have now left the church as a result of what people have said. I am gay, married to my wife for 40 years this year, non-practicing to preserve my marriage. (hate that word “practicing” – sounds like piano lessons).

In Qld here, gays practcing or not, are forbidden to lead, teach exercise any ministry or do any act of Christian service, as per BUQ memo.

Recently we tried to join a home group at the local church and they raised the topic of homosexuality and proceeded to gay bash full on almost the entire time. I haven’t come out so I couldn’t say much. Particularly bitter language was used and they said gays were definitely not welcome to attend the church. I walked out and have left the church. Interesting that Jesus said that if anyone will not welcome you, their sins are worse than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. My story is listed here if you wanted to read it. I also have a great interest in what the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures say on this topic. If you want to know more, send me a PM.

Anyway, let’s leave all that. I am really pleased you want to try to start an Andrew Marin style ministry here and I trust you will really know the Lord’s hand on you. Rowland Croucher is also another top guy who has had a very effective ministry amongst us. He is chaplain here at Freedom 2b(e).

Joined in 2008
April 8, 2010, 22:26

Hi mrg,

Welcome to freedom2b[e]. As others have mentioned, it’s encouraging that people such as yourself whose lives have been touched by the LGBT community are becoming more involved in the push for change. And it is change that we need – the status quo certainly won’t help our cause, as is evidenced by the outdated church hierachys and structures that don’t know how to respond to our spiritual needs.

Joined in 2010
April 10, 2010, 18:38

Thanks for the welcome everybody!

@gettingthere – Yes, I know and have spoken to Rob Buckingham. Great guy! Happy to meet your friend at some stage too.

@davidt – Yes, I know Rowland Croucher too! Pretty decent person for an old bloke 🙂 What you’ve described about the treatment in the small group is one of the reasons I feel ashamed. I can only say ‘sorry’ to you brother.

@IanJ – I’m part of the 100Revs group, but didn’t find out about it in time to be part of the march. Sounds like it all went well.

@AVB – I’m already part of your secret group. You just have to guess which one I am…;)

I’ve lots of questions and things I’d love to chat about, but I’ll leave them for another thread.

See you on Friday night if you’re coming to the Melbourne gathering.


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 11, 2010, 12:45

I thought it was quit possibly you. 😉

there probably could be some questions that would be appropriate to ask in the secret space with the fellow ministers as well I guess.

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