summer retreat

Join us at the Side B Retreat!

We are delighted to be hosting the Side B mini-retreat at the first QCF Summer Retreat! We’ve been working together with the QCF leadership over the past year, helping the QCF community stay open to folks who hold to the more traditional or historic Christian sexual ethics. We loved meeting so many of you at the Conference in January, but didn’t get nearly enough time to just hang out and chat, let alone have the deep discussions we really love. We’re thrilled to have this extra opportunity to do just that.

We’ll have two and a half hours set aside on one day of the retreat to spend just with the Side B members of the QCF family. We welcome both those who are firmly committed to the traditional sexual ethic, those who are still exploring, those who are uncertain, those who have been around the QCF community for years, as well as those who are relative newcomers. We welcome LGBTQ+ folks of all stripes as well as straight and/or cis parents, spouses, pastors and other allies who hold our common ethical stance.

What is that ethical stance, specifically? We believe that genital sexual activity should be reserved for male-female marriage, according to our views of the Scriptures, to our traditions, and to our understanding of church history. While we realize that none of these three sources are unproblematic or indisputable, either our current understanding of Scripture, or our commitment to our tradition or faith community, or both, call us to believe in and practice celibacy for the unmarried, and marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. We recognize that Christians of good will and serious views of Scripture can differ with this position, and we respect the journeys of others.

That said, there are a wide variety of beliefs on other issues within the Side B community. Depending on our faith communities and Scriptural interpretations, we have varied convictions on issues such as divorce and remarriage, mixed-orientation marriages, celibate partnerships, medical transitioning for trans folk, gender roles in the family and the church, and even many other disputable matters not related to sexuality and gender, such as the nature of the Lord’s Supper/Communion/the Eucharist. So, when we come together, we try to come with open hearts and listening spirits, to learn from and love one another across differences.

What can you expect when you come to the retreat-within-a-retreat? We’ll probably be a fairly small group, so a lot of our time will be informal. There will be time for newcomers to ask basic questions about Side B, and for long-timers to dive deep into ongoing discussions. We’ll probably do some creative brainstorming and play with art, especially around finding better language than “Side B” to describe our commitments. We’ll have time to meet, greet and eat with new and old friends. We may even sneak out to the beach for a bit, weather and time permitting. Most of all, we’re going to enjoy one another’s company, knowing that we are family in Christ, and that we share common convictions and commitments. We look forward to spending this time with you!

Join us at the Q+ Families Retreat!

“See, I told you I have two daddies!!” The panic set in a few years ago after hearing my then 4-year old daughter exclaim this to her preschool classmate. It was a rare day where my partner and I both went to pick her up at the end of the day. I didn’t know what would happen next. Was she already fielding questions from her friends, as a preschooler, about my sexuality? I wasn’t quite ready for this. And even less sure about how to handle it.

My anxiety subsided as her classmate responded a few seconds later, “So what, I have one hundred mommies!” This wasn’t a deep conversation about sexuality, this was two young kids competing with each other - they wanted to be more unique, not less, what a refreshing thought.  

It was strikingly clear - my daughter lived in a different world than I did, forcing me to reassess what I was projecting onto her classmates (and what they were hearing from their parents) in this lily-white suburban setting easy to associate with intolerant evangelicalism. However true that assessment may have been for me, it wasn’t true for her. This gives us cause to celebrate how far the LGBTQ+ movement has come in both our communities and churches but also leaves LGBTQ+ parents of children with unique questions and opportunities for learning. We all build our families in different ways - previous mixed orientation relationships, adoption, IVF, surrogacy and more but, however your family came together, we share the bond of being LGBTQ+ people trying to model a life of faith to kids within a broader context that may not always be at the same place we are in recognizing the full scope of God’s beloved community.

During this session at the Q Christian Summer Retreat, my fellow co-Executive Director Bukola Landis-Aina and I will lead discussion on some of the topics facing our unique part of the Q Christian community in a relaxed and informal setting where we can all learn from each other. Some questions to think about include:

  • How do same-gender parents split-up parenting responsibilities with duties historically tied to gender roles?

  • Based on the situation, when is the right time to address sensitive topics like divorce, adoption, coming out, bio donors, etc.

  • What do we teach our children about gender roles and sexual ethics appropriate to different age levels?

  • Are there good questions to ask in finding a church community that will fully celebrate my family?

  • How do you navigate situations where parents share significantly different theological beliefs?

As part of the Q Christian executive leadership team, Bukola and I also hope to illicit your feedback and advice about how Q Christian can best resource and support this growing demographic within our community - one we both are proudly part of!

Most importantly, we hope you’ll leave the inaugural Q Christian Summer Retreat with the knowledge that you aren’t alone in this unique journey - one full of laughter, tears, joys and frustrations - emotions we can face together, in love, as a community of God.

Join us at the PoC Retreat!

Hello from David and Darren, your retreat facilitators! It is an absolute honor to be leading the People of Color retreat at Q Christian’s 2019 Summer Retreat, a place to disconnect from everyday life and find community with other LGBTQ Christians and allies. As the days draw near to us gathering in Fort Lauderdale, we want to give you a sense of what to expect in your time with us.

Why attend the POC retreat? This is meant to be a time to exhale. We want to establish a protective space that's for us and by us where we are free to express our experiences and hopes as an underrepresented group within the queer minority.

Churches and other organizations aim to create diverse LGBTQ spaces where those of us who identify as POC are represented and welcome, but often those spaces are still white-centric and can feel alienating. Whether that’s through the music, topics or speakers, simply having an event open to POC can be shortsighted and feel inauthentic. What does it look like for our whole-selves to belong and be celebrated?

As we discussed the ideas for this retreat, we talked about our unique experiences of being both a person of color and gay.  Growing up, Darren felt like he had to choose between being gay and being black when it comes to what spaces he could find to socialize. David has had the experience that many of us have had where, because he’s Hispanic, expectations of his intellectual abilities are set low and people are surprised when he is ‘articulate.’ In conversations with others we’ve found that many people share these experiences and have felt like they were the only ones. For us, it makes a gathering like this a special time to heal and be restored.

What will happen at the POC Retreat? Together, we want to create a space where we talk about our lives, dream about our futures, and build each other up with encouragement and new connections. You can also expect time to quietly reflect and calm your mind with guided meditation.  We want you to bring your whole self and leave empowered in all of who you are.

So don’t hold back, come along with us. We look forward to being with you!

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