Clarity is More Than Reasonable

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In July, I assumed the role of Communications Manager on the team here at Q Christian Fellowship. I’ve been with the organization since February, an unexpected dream-come-true, and I’ve gratefully worked alongside some of the most dedicated and principled individuals I’ve ever known. I’ve had casual interactions with some of my heroes, been privy to discussions about dreams and projects I can’t wait to share, and I’m still in awe of the utter privilege it is to be included in this work.

Q Christian’s staff consists of just 3 people, with only 2 of us working at full-time. We do what we do because we love who we are–we love our mission, and we believe in a future wherein LGBTQ+ Christians needn’t fight nor leave their faith community for our place at God’s Table.

At the heart of it all is community, growth, and relational justice.

In the last several months, when it has really mattered, we’ve been unclear about what is ultimately essential in our work. As we’ve strived to transcend dualistic ways of engaging disagreement and embrace our communion at God’s ever-expanding Table, we’ve missed the mark when asked to answer fundamental questions that continue to bring each of us into this space.

With that in mind, I’m here to provide clarity. Church Clarity’s slogan, ”clarity is reasonable”, predicates this intention. Equivocation helps nobody, least of all those marginalized by that which emanates from non-affirming persons and belief systems. It is our desire to be a space that, while safe, pushes all of us to grow as individuals and as part of Christ’s body.

The team has worked over the last several weeks to aggregate foundational questions we frequently receive from members of the community. We’ve drafted answers, recomposed them, and had fruitful conversations as a team and with members of the Board of Directors, our Advisory Boards, and with brilliant friends generously lending their time and minds to this process.

We’ve added an FAQ page to the Q Christian website with questions, answers, and an invitation to keep asking. More than anything, we know this list is not exhaustive, and it’s most certainly imperfect, but it’s a start, and we’re grateful for an opportunity to cultivate a bright and open space.

The Story Behind the Q Christian Job Board

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Written by Lauren Moser, Operations Manager for Q Christian Fellowship

“It’s going to be a banner year for you, Lauren.” My brother-in-law smiled softly as he sat across from me at the bar. I rolled my eyes into what felt like the very back of my head and took a dramatic drink of my beer.

My brother-in-law was trying his best to console me after I had spent over an hour telling him and my sister about all of my 2018 woes and disappointments. In one year I had totaled my car, lost a front tooth in a freak dental mishap, and come out to all of my family and friends. I was also 28, unemployed, single and living at home with my parents.

All of these scenarios were stressful to varying degrees. I started a dating profile after I came out only to quickly take it down because a week later I was missing a front tooth. I looked like Ed Helms in The Hangover for the entirety of Summer 2018. Not to mention I was living in my high school bedroom and spent seven days a week in athleisure wear. Let’s just say it wasn't prime time to start a relationship.

Not actually me…..but not far off.

Not actually me…..but not far off.

However, nothing compared to the stress and sadness that accompanied being unemployed for over a year. I had graduated from Baylor the year prior after finishing Seminary and was 100% positive that God had called me to ministry. I wholeheartedly believed He would open doors for me, even if I knew I was queer and didn’t quite know how I was going to navigate the complexities of that reality. Coming out at that point was off the table though because I knew it would be career suicide. Finding a leadership role as a woman in ministry is hard, but finding a job as a queer woman?

Forget it.  

But as I looked and interviewed, I realized that I couldn’t even be an ally in most of the Christian spaces that had job openings. The places that would hire me as a woman, almost inevitably would not hire someone who was explicitly affirming, let alone LGBTQ+. I sent out hundreds of applications and I waited and spent countless nights crying myself to sleep because I believed I was looking for a job that didn’t actually exist. It tested my faith, my mental health, and nearly made me give up on ministry all together. It nearly made me give up on my own life.

It wasn’t until 17 months after graduation that I started working for Q Christian. It was a needle-in-the-haystack kind of job, but since starting this position I have not stopped thinking about all of the faithful, LGBTQ+ folks out there who are still in the same spot I was for so long. Those who know they are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but can’t submit an application to a church position because they are female. Those who have felt the tug of the Holy Spirit on their hearts, but can’t get past a first round interview at a Christian, non-profit because they are LGBTQ+.

So I created this job board.

I created this job board to connect the faithful, LGBTQ+ folks who are lost and wandering with employers who will embrace them and affirm their callings. Job postings on the Q Christian job board are comprised of church, parachurch, and non-profit employers with hiring practices that do not discriminate, lawfully or unlawfully, against candidates on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin, age, physical ability, marital status or military status.  Job Board access for job seekers is, and always will be, available for free.

The Job Board will start out small, but I pray it will be manna in the desert for those who have knocked on so many doors and been turned away. I pray that you continue to knock and that, in God’s timing, the door will open and you will know that He is faithful to finish what He has started in you.

Visit the Job Board page to find out more.

April Q Book Club: Schedule and Thought Prompts

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group discussion schedule:

All discussions will be held over Zoom and can be accessed through the links below.

Thought Prompts to consider while reading:

Week 1: Pages 1-89

Pg. 49: “Hick...learned early in life “never to expect love or affection from anyone.” In what ways, if any, does Hick’s perspective resonate with you?

Pg. 72: “I still lived under the compulsion of my early training...I looked at everything from the point of view of what I ought to do, rarely...what I wanted to do.” Does Eleanor’s statement feel pertinent to you? Why or why not?

Pg. 73 “Homosexuality was viewed in the wider world as both shocking and criminal. But among Eleanor’s political friends, such lifetime liaisons were common.” Was the author’s insight surprising to you?

Pg. 84 “FDR rather poignantly urged Anna to go slow with ending her marriage, telling her that many people who were in love saw each other rarely and “got on very well in the end without love.” What do you think about FDR’s statement?

Week 2: Pages 89-177

Pg. 119: “What wouldn’t I give to talk to you and hear you now, oh, dear one, it is all the little things, tones in your voice, the feel of your hair, gestures, these are the things I think about and long for”- Eleanor. The relationship between Eleanor and Hick becomes progressively more effusive and affectionate over time. What is your assessment of their relationship to this point?

Pg 150: “Yet something had shifted, away from the initial intimacy toward a deep friendship at a lower temperature. Hick was going to have to accept being “one grand person” - not the one and only.” What do you think about Eleanor’s treatment of Hick? What do you think about Hick’s response?

Pg 159: “None of these women used the word “lesbian,” but those in their circle. including Eleanor, understood that they were lovers and partners for life. In the Village, they could live without constant fear of disapproval. Eleanor seemingly had many LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues in her life. Is this surprising to you? What do you think about the social dynamics of “the Village”?

Week 3: Pages 177-273

Pg. 189: “When Eleanor told her friends that she refused to “live a life based on illusion,” she was referring in particular to her relationship with Nan and Marion. But it could have described her feelings about her life in general. She was no longer willing to go along with Hick’s fantasies…” What do you think caused this change of heart? Does it strike you as disingenuous, ironic, cruel, or something else entirely?

Pg. 227: “...on this occasion, at least, she was a better politician than her husband.” Which of Eleanor’s political endeavors have been most impressive to you so far? Would you argue she was “a better politician than her husband”?

P.g 234: “When Eleanor arrived at the 1940 Democratic convention to make her historic speech, the New York times spent two whole paragraphs on what she was wearing.” In what ways do you think Eleanor’s public and personal life would be different today? In what ways would it be the same?

Pg. 252: “Underlying Eleanor’s unhappiness was the realization that Churchhill and FDR were engaged in an elaborate courtship that excluded her and everyone else.” Do you think Eleanor felt more rejected on a personal or professional level? Do you think there was a line between the personal and professional for the Roosevelts?

Week 4: Pages 273-358

Pg 277: “...the head usher, informed Hick that she was “the sole occupant of the White House tonight- with forty-seven men to guard you.” Even after Hick’s relationship with Eleanor cooled and she began seeing another woman, Hick lived at the White House for years. Why do you think she stayed? What do you think of FDR’s lack of concern/attention towards Hick and Eleanor’s relationship over the years?

Pg 286: “Eleanor seems to have preferred...three-way attachments, where she could love without being expected to risk all of herself, to unlock that something that was “locked up inside.” Throughout their lives, FDR, Eleanor and Hick were involved in multiple “love triangles”. What do you think about the author’s insight that Eleanor preferred to love without risking all of herself? Do you fear the cost of risk in a relationship or in other areas of your life?

Pg 297: “Eleanor had a knack for keeping painful realities at bay until she could deny them no longer.” Thematically we see denial, in both personal and professional matters, as a near constant struggle for the Roosevelts. To what degree do you think their denial could be attributed to social pressures? To what degree could it be attributed to the Roosevelt’s personalities?

Pg 303: “Harry,” she told him when he first arrived, “the President is dead.” Truman...asked Eleanor if there was anything he could do for her. Her reply was characteristic: “Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now.” What do you think about Eleanor’s response to FDR’s death?

Pg 308: “For the first time in my life,” she told reporters, “I can say what I want. For your information, it is wonderful to be feel free.” Then [Eleanor] asked that this remark be kept off the record.” In your opinion, did Eleanor evolve over the years or did she still see “everything from the point of view of what I ought to do, rarely...what I wanted to do”? Did Hick live a more “authentic” life? Do you fear or have you feared not being able to live authentically yourself?

April Q Book Club: "Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady" by Susan Quinn

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April is right around the corner and we are reading “Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady” by Susan Quinn for the Q Christian Book Club.

“A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok—a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women's lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history

In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. By that time, she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life—now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. Over the next thirty years, until Eleanor’s death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: They were, at different points, lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends.”

Pick up a copy at your local bookstore, library or on Amazon and join us on Tuesdays at 8PM EST during April for group discussion. All discussions will be held through Zoom and can be accessed through the links below. Thought prompts for the month will be made available on our blog and online forums on April 1st.

We look forward to having great discussions about an amazing historical figure!

Group Discussion Schedule:

  1. April 2rd: 8pm-9pm EST - Pages 1-89

  2. April 9th: 8pm-9pm EST - Pages 90-177

  3. April 16th: 8pm-9pm EST - Pages 178- 273

  4. April 23rd: 8pm-9pm EST - Pages 274-358

Interested in facilitating the Book Club for Q Christian? Find out more.