It is sad that this is still the response from groups such as this. My sense from Liz’s email, reading between the lines, that she was not actually in agreement with head office. Only a guess though. It seems that she has gone to lengths to explain the situation. I know though that no matter how nicely it says….rejection is still rejection and for those of us who have experienced it first hand it still hurts.
You are to be commended for the respectful way you have responded Colin.
Not everyone is capable of that kind of response and often their anger and aggression only reinforces the others persons view of gay and lesbian people.
Of course changes are happening slowly……but not in all areas as yet.
Thanks for taking the time to make me aware.
From: Colin Parker (Bexley Steel) [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, 17 November 2008 15:27
To: [email protected]
Subject: FW: Mission Enquiry
Below is my email to serve a mission on the Doulos ship that has visited
Again a strong NO from a organization that claims to be Christian…..
I was shocked at the absolute statements that same sex person are NOT
ALLOWED under any conditions…….
Hope your well and just wanted you to know about these narrow minded
From: Colin Parker (Bexley Steel) [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, 17 November 2008 9:14 AM
To: ‘Liz Mahanidis’
Subject: RE: Mission Enquiry
Thank you for taking your valuable time to reply to my email.
It is with a sad heart that I have been rejected from serving a deep heart
felt passion with your organization. I understand there would be many
challenges for the head office in the diversity of cultures and beliefs.
However I felt a very strong direction from divine sources to approach OM.
I feel a strong call to serve the Lord who I so love and give daily
gratitude for the many blessing He has given me. Being Gay and Christian has
been a very challenging matter but I am a very compassionate and
understanding soul because of the journey I have been called to take.
There is much fear and ignorance in people which holds back the true love
that the Lord has given to mankind. It is not the will of our loving God to
discriminate any of his spirit children. I well know that.
I have felt that all powerful love beyond what any words will ever express
and thus that is my testimony of true unconditional love.
I hope that this love will touch the lives of all mankind.
I will continue to seek my call to serve and follow my heart with my time
and financial assets.
God bless you and I hope this reply reaches the hearts that need to be
directed in His work.
I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I am studying this year and am only in 3 days a week and with the Doulos being in Australia we have been inundated with requests from people to join! We have also had extensive dialogue with the Ships office in Mosbach about your expression of interest in joining the ship.
Thank you for your very honest and open communication about your life stye choices and your desire to serve on the Doulos. I want to be open and honest with you in return about the ships setup and your request to be considered to serve on board.
Let me start by explaining a little bit of background to the Doulos.
People from over 50 very diverse nationalities serve together on board the Doulos, from many different cultural backgrounds. As an organization, the Ships’ Office in Germany has recognized that it is impossible to have people from so many different cultural and denominational backgrounds on board the ship without some very clear and some would say very conservative guidelines. The Head Office of all the ships’ ministries is located in Germany and it has final say in all requests to serve on the Doulos. After receiving your expression on interest, we approached the ships office with the details of your interest, and they confirmed the following details;
The Ships organization has conservative policies on people wanting to join the ship on a purely pragmatic basis. For instance, they do not take single parents with children on board the ship, because a parent is needed by their children and is unable to serve effectively in a full time role. Also, that would take away the non-custodial parents’ access to visit the children. They have stringent guidelines on separated and divorced couples joining, so that people do not use the ships as an excuse to walk away from their problems as well. Furthermore, the ships do not accept crew who are in a serious or intimate relationship, because they are not about splitting up relationships. You have indicated that you are happily in a relationship now, and on that practical basis alone, the ship would not accept your application to join.
As well as the pragmatic reasons, the ships head office has confirmed that it can not accept people to the ship whose life styles and convictions are incompatible with its theological beliefs. The ship has learned from a number of experiences over its years of service that it just does not work to have people on board with feelings of same sex attraction, whether or not they choose to act upon them. Again, while some would see this is a very conservative religious conviction, it has proved to be necessary for a ship with people from so many nations to live and work together in peace as a cohesive unit. It is a both a theological and practical decision which the ship has had to make. The head office in Germany has confirmed to us there are no exceptions to this policy.
On the issue of people applying to the ships involved in a same sex relationship, the ships office in Germany’s decision in this matter would be in line with vast majority of the not for profit, evangelical, church based organizations serving within Australia, and in most parts of the world. Even if OM Australia had a say in the decision to accept applicants for the ship ministry, under the Equal Opportunity Act of
1995 section 75, we would choose to not accept candidates whose life choices are not compatible with our ministry.
While we can not pursue your expression of interest in serving on the Doulos further, we want to affirm your desire to be involved in serving others.
PO Box 32
BOX HILL VIC
Ph: 03 9898 9348
Mob: 0418 567 733