I love GCN. I have been a member (client served) of GCN. GCN has changed a lot over time, but the executive director, Justin have done a lot of amazing projects that made GCN a wonderful place. He has done a documentary, "Through my eyes." If you see me as a deaf girl signing, that would be me. I feel that the whole purpose of GCN is to make a difference in the world, not only in the gay world, but in the world as well. We have so much to work on, but we're on that goal. We want people to know that it is possible to be gay christian. That is what GCN about.
I've seen this organization grow from a small group of acquaintances to a large group of movers and shakers. The amount of lives saved and change made by the Gay Christian Network is enormous, and I can't praise them enough.
GCN was my lifeline! I lived in the middle of nowhere and I had no one to talk to about the struggles I was going through with my sexuality. I hopped on the internet and searched for gay & christian and up popped GCN. I looked around for a bit and saw the messages everyone was posting and I decided to start posting also. I was immediately accepted and made to feel welcome. My questions were answered and I was able to feel less alone. The best thing about this online community is that it is a community that came off of the computer for me. I was able to make so many friends from GCN in the real world. I didn't feel so alone anymore. Now, I've moved to a better area and am not in the middle of nowhere anymore but I still have a great group of friends from GCN that I call my family. I am soo thankful for them. I'm thankful for all within GCN who have made this community possible. Here's to the future!
The GCN community is absolutely wonderful. In a time in my life where I was so at odds with trying to mesh my sexuality and also explore my faith, GCN helped me to realize that being GLBT does NOT mean that you must be aetheist in your beliefs and or try to conform to some other "more accepting" religion. It has been a wonderful journey and the Gay Christian Network has provided the tools and the friends to help me along the way.
6 months ago I thought I was alone in the challenge to reconcile my Christian faith with my orientation. I found GCN through a generic search and dicovered I wasn't alone in this world. GCN provides a welcoming, open community of GLBT Christians. Through participation in this online community I have found peace and understanding where there was none to be found. I can share struggles, opportunities, and encoragement and am never at a loss for positive feedback, support and love from the GCN community. More individuals need to know that God loves them just as they are and the way he intended them to be. THANK YOU GCN!
Shortly after moving to Chicago, I felt the need to meet other gay Christians with whom I could connect. I stumbled across the GCN website one evening, and the rest is history. I have met several awesome people through the site, and it makes me proud to meet others seeking after Christ when many people today are turning the other way. The friendships forged through GCN are the ones that will last for years to come, and this organization deserves credit for the immense time and energy poured forth to make sure the community works not only in the United States, but around the world.
The Gay Christian Network is an amazing organization. In just a few years it has grown to be a solid member of the gay christian community. GCN provides support and services for many people of all ages in a large number of countries. Some of these people are isolated and feel all alone in their quest to reconcile their Christian understandings with the fact that they are gay. GCN provides a wonderful network for them to be connected. GCN has harnessed today's technologies in a wonderful way to provide support and outreach. GCN also has developed a great outreach to other LGBT organizations that helps them reach their mission.
GCN is an amazing community ... one that provides much needed services to the LGBT Community, and even those outside the community that are trying to learn to interact with LGBT people or with the issues themselves for the first time. It is a much-needed ministry and non-profit organization. I'm an avid supporter and want as many people to know about GCN as possible!
The Gay Christian Network is an international community. It provides a discussion forum and information not only for Gay Christians but also for their straight family and friends. It is ecumenical in approach and has been a space where I have been able to think stuff through with the support of others. It has also helped me to better understand some cultural differences between myself and LGB Christians elsewhere in the world, particularly in the US.
GCN is a community with a life of its own. In this world, being gay will give you much stigma from society. However, it is truly difficult to be gay and to be a Christian. You face condemnation from your church, and you face condemnation from the GLBT community. GCN provides something that can be found no where else on the internet. GCN provides a safe haven. A place to share in the joys and the stumblings of peers who are going through, or have been through the same places as you. GCN is a community of believers who hold each other up in trying times and rejoice together in good times. For those who are struggling with matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, and what it means for their faith, GCN is the place that they need to know about. Help us spread the word about this awesome community!
GCN is an amazing orgaisation that brings people into contact with others who have a shared experience of sexuality and faith. It has been a great source of benefit physically, emotionally and spiritually to tens of thousands of folk. It was the first place I was able to talk about my faith and my sexuality in an atmosphere of support, understanding and love. Now it is great to continue to give and receive support, helping others coming along behind us in the journey and a useful network to discover people in similar localities who are gay Christians. GCN is a life saver and - without exageragtion - one of the most important Gay organisations in the world.
GCN is a remarkable place where all gay people on the spectrum of faith can feel welcome and included. They embody a relational shalom that is and will be one of the most effective pathways to confront systemic inequity in the larger church. I'm grateful for their courageous leadership.
Since joining GCN, I have had the privilege of chatting to so many lovely guys, whom I would never have had the chance to know, in many countries. Then privileged yet again, to actually meet several of them at GCN get-togethers, meetings or meals, and even becoming real friends with one or two. They were so supportive when life was pants !!! I'd love some to get in touch again, too.
Before I came to GCN, I thought there was no such thing as a gay Christian. I was in a very hopeless spot in my life because I thought I had to choose between my sexuality and my faith. The information at GCN helped me learn more about reconciling these two parts of me, but more importantly, the people on the message boards immediately took me under their wing and exemplified the life of wise, godly Christians who also happen to be gay. GCN provides a lot of information and includes all different varieties of beliefs about faith and sexuality. Justin Lee has set up a really unique ministry that is desperately needed in this day and age.
In the past six months I have been able to accept the fact that I am gay. The Gay Christian Network has provided both resources and a web community of support that has been beneficial to me as I understand my sexuality and begin to tell those who are closest to me.
When I was at my darkest hour of coming out as a gay man and loosing my home, job, and visitation rights to my children, The Gay Christian Network was there as an encouragement. I have found GCN to be a great resource for people from all religious backgrounds. The resources are top notch and the message boards and groups are so important to me and the Thousands of GLBTQ people who visit the site and are members.
How do I put into words, how much GCN means to me? I'm not sure I can. Before I found GCN I had spent my life living in two worlds, a gay one and a Christian one. All I ever wanted was a place where those two things weren't mutually exclusive. And in GCN I found just that. I've found not just an online message board. But a real community. A group of ppl who have become my church, my friends and in some cases my family. GCN has changed my world, in a amazing and wonderful way!
GCN has played a huge role in my life as I have come to terms with my sexuality and learned to accept who I am. Without the encouragement and advice I have received from GCN, I doubt I would have ever come out of the closet. Now that I have accepted my identity as a gay man, I am happy and satisfied and I have been able to help others who are going through similar struggles. Without GCN I would likely still be lonely, confused, and unsure who I was.
I have known i was gay from a very early age. I became Christian when i was nine or ten in a pentecostal church that preached often about how homosexuals were an abomination to God. I didnt know what that meant, I just knew that I was not supposed to be different. I was sent away from the church when i was 14 because I was told I could not be gay and Christian, and the gay had started to come out. I walked away from the Church, but I could never quite forget about God. Our relationship was strained for a long time, I couldnt believe that God made me gay just to condemn me, and as much as I prayed, I woke up every morning still gay. A little over a year ago, after talking to a counselor who told me she didnt believe there was anything wrong with being gay and a Christian, I googled those two words: Gay and Christian. Finding GCN was like finding Shangri-La; a community of people struggling with the one thing that had saturated my existence on this earth, and I was not alone. Last weekend, Shangri-La's floodgate was opened when i attended the retreat for my age group, affectionately known as the Transformers. For the first time in my life I lived for three days in a community of Gay Christian Men, all in my age group. The love and kindness that was showed to me there could have only been from God, and it is all because GCN brought us together. It is an experience that i shall never forget, one that I will treasure always. It is an experience that will serve me in the difficult times; when i cant see or feel God, and I will think back and remember how powerful the presence of God was during that time. That time has extended into my life now, I have 21 new best friends on facebook and the boards at GCN who continue to encourage me and lift me up in prayer before God. GCN has been quite the God-given blessing in my life and I am so thankful for them.
The Gay Christian Network helped me make new friends at a time in which I had few and has helped me to help others who face that question of whether it is ok to be attracted to people of the same sex and still be a Christian. GCN provides a place of acceptance, love, and grace which is the message of Christ. It's a great organization and I look forward to participating in it for years to come. :)
When all is said and done, I believe that discovering GCN will go down as being one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I have only been involved for three months, but in that time I have found more grace, kindness, friendship, acceptance, and love than I've experienced in the years I've attended church. When I joined GCN, I was having disturbing thoughts of taking my own life and had no one to talk to because I would need to reveal that being gay was the cause of my struggles. But through GCN, my faith has been restored in the goodness of God and His people, and for the first time I have hope. I am proud to be a member and supporter of GCN, and I really wish I could give a 100 star rating, as hope is priceless.
As so many have said in their reviews, GCN changes the lives of people who think they are alone in the world as gay Christians. Suddenly, they find a big community of other gay people who strive to serve God with all their hearts. This is what happened to me. I met my life partner here, I made lifelong friends here, and I learn more every day about how to face the challenges of reconciling the church with the gay community.
When I discovered GCN in 2002, I was surprised and a little cautious about a site that said it was gay and Christian. I was closeted and still unsure if reconciliation of faith and orientation was possible. I lurked on the message boards for some months and learned the members had similar experiences, questions, concerns and goals. Their faith was as important to them as mine was to me! Wow! That realization was even more surprising than the first discovery. I joined the boards, began posting and haven't looked back. GCN has proved to me to be a growing community with fellowship and resources for people desiring to reconcile faith and orientation. I have received encouragement and have been able to encourage others as well as participate in national and regional activities that have helped build my faith. Another strong point is the way GCN has striven to serve members from various backgrounds and with specific needs. Small group forums provide a safe haven where people can think out loud, be encouraged and receive feedback when desired. The community creates a warm atmosphere where those shell-shocked from the culture wars can relax and be refreshed. It supported me as I came out to family and church as it has so many others. The acceptance for believers and non-believers alike has given me a better appreciation of what the phrase "Unconditional Love" can look like in reality. I've been inspired by the actions of fellow GCNers. I'm so thankful it exists. I want to pay it forward by giving of my finances and my time so GCN is available for others, even as it has served me. My desire is for GCN to continue to be a welcoming oasis for all those who have languished in the spiritual wilderness of rejection.
GCN has been a very valuable resource to me the past two years. I have become active on the message boards, attending retreats, and meeting GCN members around the area. It has helped me to accept who I am as both gay and Christian. It has given me many meaningful friendships I would not have discovered otherwise. I feel supported spiritually and emotionally there.
Can an online community be more authentic and genuine than a church? GCN has proven that it can. People of vastly different backgrounds, and even opinions of what is "acceptable" sexual behavior gather under the GCN banner as their belief in Jesus unites them. GCN is such a far reaching ministry, with discussion forums, online chat, conferences, local gatherings, radio programs, video programming, and a documentary film. The Gay Christian Network is viral, and organic, growing and replicating. The leadership is even self-replicating: once a visitor has been heartily welcomed and encouraged, they become the next-generation welcomer.
An excellent non-profit which does well putting leadership in vision in the hands of a large, diverse community. They are careful not to tread on people's politics/theology as long as it doesn't interfere with the truth that God loves the gays. The message boards offer great support and encouragement, but the real benefit is meeting people and fellowshiping with the larger GCN community.
This community of other gay christians quite possibly saved my life. They have helped me through so many of my struggles. I would highly recommend this website/group to anyone who is gay, or is a friend/family member of a gay person. They provide services and support to both side A and side B something unique in the Christian world. They have helped me so much to accept myself. They are amazing people.
I am just beginning to learn about this organization and everything I have read so far has been nothing but full of Christ's grace love and harmony, through open and honest conversations. These guys rock!
Five years ago, I found out that my youngest son is gay.. My husband and I were shocked and didn't want to accept it. We love our son unconditionally, but this was something we were raised to believe is not real and is a choice... We could not understand what was happening to our wonderful son! We had no one to talk to who we thought would have some knowledge and understanding about gays or homosexuality. We were leaders in our church and knew what was taught and believed there.. and knew they would not be helpful. We prayed a lot to God.. Almost with every breath, I was pleading for His guidance. Then one day I googled "Gay" and "Christian" and found GCN. Soon, I realized this is where God had led me for the answers to our prayers. GCN members accepted me with true kindness and understanding.. God used His gay children to answer the prayers for understanding that I had been pleading for during the last 5 months... Soon, He revealed to me this whole new world that I had never paid attention to. I believe that, now, God wants me to minister to others in any way I can on GCN, and in my day to day life.
the gay christian network serves a critical role in bridging the gap between the gay community and the christian community. specifically, it serves as a safe place for thousands of gay christians around the world to fellowship, to share their experiences as minority within a minority, to worship God, to support and love each other through good and hard times. i have personally benefited tremendously from the ministry of GCN. as a result of my involvment with GCN, i have grown closer to God and found a wonderful community of believers and seekers alike who do not rush to condemn and judge but rather listen and love. i've seen christian parents reconciled with their gay children, gay youth reconciled with God, and people who previously suffer silently and alone having a place to be held and to be accepted for who God has made them to be. i see God in the midst of GCN.
Thank you GCN for your continued commitment to share the heart of Christ- with ALL people. The interaction of your network truly restores hope for love and unity between people with opposing views.
This web sit was one of the best things that happened to me after I came out. It has been a God send, otherwise I would feel all alone in this world. But with a support group like this one, I am growing to understand what it means to be gay and a Christian. I also met someone special, and I am excited to see where it goes.
This is a community that explores and celebrates a shared faith. It is place where being gay or lesbian or whatever is one important part of a whole. One can be encouraged and offer encouragement, there is much joy to be shared, ideas to be discussed, and a helping hand when the weight of the world is heavy. GCN has grown massively in the time I have known it, bringing people in from every corner of the world, even me, and still there is enough love to go round.
GCN is a wonderful community full of loving and peaceful people from all walks of life. I have belonged to a lot of internet communities in my time, but this one takes the word "welcome" to a new level. In my 6 months of being a member I only saw drama once. Amazing right? I know.
GCN has been an amazing influence in my life, the friendships and encouragement I have received in my time here are more than I have ever dreamed. Not only have I had an opportunity to grow personally and in my faith, but I have been given a safe connection to thousands of like-minded individuals I would otherwise never have met.
GCN has become a second home for me. I love the people, the atmosphere, the support and encouragement that are all made readily available to me. It's been an amazing place to grow and build strong, healthy relationships.
GCN is my home. The women and men on the forums gave me support and advice when I needed it. It's a place where all you have to do is say you need prayers and you have assurance that more people than you could imagine will be praying for you. The ministry served by GCN is amazing. I never thought that people could be so understanding and kind, but at GCN I've built friendships that will last an earthly lifetime, and a heavenly eternity.
GCN is a remarkable organization. I've seen many lives, including my own, changed because of the work these people do. It lifts people up from feeling worthless to feeling accepted and ready to go out and uplift others! There is truly a cascade effect this organization causes - the people it helps develop a desire to help others in need. Very cool!
GCN has helped me in so many ways to connect to other Christ-centered people around the country when my church can't relate to me. They have helped and given me so much support during the tough times and and has helped me reach out to others in their times of need. This community and organization is a blessing to everyone!
GCN is an international organisation, serving thousands of Gay Christians the world over. GCN is there for people alienated by family, friends and church in the process of coming out and is a massive help in the healing process that comes after coming out to rejection. GCN has changed my life, and has brought me closer to God, showing me new ways to connect. It has also shown me the person I am, the authentic me. It was through my experiences at the Annual Conference 2009 that I managed to finally find myself, and achieve comfort with who I am, 2.5 years after coming out.. This support and friendship continues with our interactions on the messageboards on a day to day basis. With a shoestring budget, and 4 staffmembers, GCN reached 5,000 miles accross the Atlantic and changed my life. With a decent bugdet, GCN could change the world!
The Gay Christian Network is a vital organization with two powerful purposes: it brings the news of God's unconditional love to Christians who have a homosexual orientation, and it educates and opens the minds of heterosexually oriented people who do not see gay Christians as accepted by God or the church. As a gay Christian myself, I had a really hard time finding people to talk to who shared my struggles and confusion. GCN has brought me into a community of like-minded people who encourage me constantly to get out there and keep living my life with integrity as a gay man AND as a Christian.
Gay Christian Network is one of the most amazing ministries I have ever encountered. I came to GCN at a time when I was in great confusion and self hate for lack of understanding how I could be both gay and Christian. I was at rock bottom and considering suicide as a means to end the pain. I spent every night scouring the internet in search of answers to this delima and found only the most obsurd things. Either the sites I found were deeply religous and condemned homosexuality or they were flamboyantly gay and had very little biblically based content. When I found GCN it answered all my questions and backed up their viewpoints with scripture. I have now accepted myself as a Christian/gay man and have grown so much spiritually from my time (2yrs) with GCN. I am a much stronger Christian and feel called to aid in ministry by letting others know of The Gay Christian Network and how God loves us unconditionally. I know GCN has been a blessing to many and that our Lord has his mighty hand on this ministry. Justin Lee is an amazing vessel of God and is in my prayers. All my love GCN...
Something very amazing and special is going on in Gay Christian Network. God is at work in ways that no one ever would have thought of or believed in the beginning of the life of this organization. There's something happening that is beyond what can be expressed, but its a tremendous resource for the love and purpose of Jesus Christ to be expressed and revealed to the GLBT community. Its the chosen vessel of God for this work, I truly believe.
I love Gay Christian Network because it is a way to connect with other GLBT Christians around the world. The forums provide good fellowship and a sense of community, and GCN Radio is an entertaining listen as well as good ministry. I am still adrift spiritually, as I have been going through a big transition in my life, but GCN has provided important, valuable support to let me know that I am not alone in my journey.
The Gay Christian Network has reached out beyond National borders to support people from all over the world. And the best news is that it comes free to all who join. Although I live in Canada and my donations to the U.S.-based GCN are not tax deductible in my country, I still donate because I have seen this non-profit agency make a difference in my life and the lives of others around the world. I have met the most wonderful, loving people; made amazing friends both locally and internationally; and deepened my spiritual faith. GCN is a non-denominational community led by Love, not by doctrines. To many people whose churches have rejected them solely for being gay, GCN is their only church community, one that operates on the core principle of Love. GCN reaches to the most remote and isolated areas of the U.S. and the world, and supports people where they are in their walk. GCN is for the GLBT community, straight allies, family members, church leaders, anyone who has questions about faith and sexual orientation. GCN is vibrant, relevant, and real. Come and check it out!
The Gay Christian Network fills a gap that no other organization in America fills, that of providing a community to religious gays around the world. The fact that it strides to take no stance on whether gay christians should marry or not, steers clear of politics, and welcomes individuals of all or no faith traditions, makes it a welcoming place for everyone. It has done a truly remarkable job at remaining its moral ground, while not taking political or controversial stands. Everyone, from conservative to liberal will find it an engaging and spiritual place to discuss whatever is on your mind from your eternal fate to the latest American Idol contest. Personally, as a gay person who grew up going to church 3 times a week and with active parents in the church, I don't know what I would have done without this organization when I was struggling in college. My life is, and was forever changed by this community.
I came to GCN very confused after being kicked out of ex-gay ministry programs. I thought that being gay was wrong and had no idea how to live as a Christian who happened to be gay. GCN is very unique as the organization affirms multiple life paths, including supporting individuals who pursue celibate lives as those who are pursuing relationships. GCN finally connected me with a church who understands me and where I can be myself. I appreciate that GCN provided me a place to explore what I thought without insisting that I believe certain things about being gay.
When I first accepted that I was gay, after many long years of trying to turn straight through dating women, ex-gay therapy, etc., I felt completely alone and rejected, and falling away from God. How could a loving God make someone an "abomination?" Then I found GCN, and a lot of my questions were answered, and because of GCN I have gotten to the point where I can comfortably call myself gay and a Christian, and feel at peace that those two aspects of myself are not in conflict. It has been a great organization to me, extremely welcoming, and I'm happy to have been a part of it for over a year now.
The Gay Christian Network has helped me to change the way I look at myself, the way I look at the church, the way I look at God, and the way I look at the gay community - all for the better. I was certainly surprised to find a community that wanted to make it a safe place for those struggling between areas of faith and sexuality. First and foremost, GCN helped me to realize that I am far from alone. I am very thankful to have them as part of my life.
This website-organization has been a great resource for thousands of people around the world who need a safe place to work out the relationship between their religious beliefs, their sexuality, and their community. Imagine being a gay kid in a conservative atmosphere and not knowing anyone in your daily life who is openly gay and religious at the same time. It's a very scary and vulnerable position. And this site provides safe haven for people from all backgrounds to meet other people, hear their stories, ask for advice and prayers, and even just talk about movies and music and tell jokes, etc. In my years on the site, I've seen people who think they are alone learn that there are thousands of others like them, and that we all share the same struggles and that there is hope for living a healthy, honest, proud life. The small staff and large volunteer pool work very hard to ensure that the site remains as inclusive and as constructive as possible, and they deserve an award for how well they have maintained a space that encourages diversity and gives people the freedom to ask the questions they need answered.
GCN found me questioning the purpose of my life. It introduced me to people who had walked a common path and made me feel included. Now I'm proud to say that the definition of my life is about the relationships I foster - mostly with local members of this community. In fostering those relationships I've become a much more balanced person with so much more to give to each person I encounter in my work and life. If you're gay and have ever wondered "why are we here" the answer might just start at GCN.
The Gay Christian Network impacts thousands of people every month across the globe. It provides a safe space for people to come and just be themselves as Gay Christians, or to work through their own personal struggles with reconciling their faith and sexuality. GCN was instrumental in helping me become a whole person. Before finding this community, I felt very alone in the world and did not think it was even possible to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. Before the help I received through GCN reconciling my faith and sexuality, I was frequently depressed and even suicidal at times. GCN quite possibly saved my life. In addition to providing a moderated safe-space, GCN also provides ways to plug into local communities and provides resources to continue the journey toward wholeness that so many of us have started. GCN has also produced a one-of-a-kind DVD of our stories to help educate the church and bridge the gap between gays and Christians. The Gay Christian Network truly does a great work. Bridges are being built, people are finding peace and lives are being saved through the efforts of this organization.
I wanted to devout at least one post to an amazing haven, The Gay Christian Network (www.gaychristian.net). I believe that had I had this website when I was in high school I would be a very different person than I am. GCN is an amazing organization that offers a community, support, resources, and a haven for gay Christians all over the world. It was started by a brave gay man who wanted a place he felt comfortable being gay and discussing his faith. I wanted to write a short blog praising this organization and encouraging all my readers to join. GCN is not just for LGBT folks. Allies are welcome and needed. It will take all of us to help people understand that both identities can coexist. Message Boards At first glance GCN has some amazing message boards. When you join you are put into an age board and a location board. You can customize what special forums you see, and the general forums are great! People on these forums are friendly, loving, accepting, and diverse. I have met so many people from all over the world. This past June I traveled to New Zealand. I was there a month and wanted to make sure I spoke to someone when I was there. I joined the Oceanic forum in hopes that natives could help me maximize my time in the country and in hopes that someone would want to meet for dinner/coffee on travels. A really awesome native offered to show me around Wellington, and we hung out a few times while I was in the city. I tell you this story to help you understand the community that GCN offers. Resources GCN is an abundant resource. They have a great book section, have a weekly radio program, offer DVD resources, and have many educational forums. The website offers two distinct views on Christianity and homosexuality. One side believes that you can be a christian and have homosexual relationships while another faction believes that to be christian and gay you must be celibate. Both factions coexist in an environment of dialogue. It is a great place for all to express their opinions. Pass it on I am realistic that most of you (all 10 people) will not read my blog and rush off to join GCN. I offer this post as a resource to you to pass on to dissenters, friends, and people who may benefit from it. It has helped me grow and develop and I hope it can do that for others. As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate your sticking with me.
GCN is a great place for anyone to come in and find real friends and encouragement! Everyone who is able needs to support this wonderful organization in any way they can!
GCN is a lifesaver for many GLBT Christians that seek support and guidance in being both Christian and GLBT. The GCN Network is a Ministry that shares GOD'S "true" love for ALL of HIS Children. Guests can view parts of the website to get a better understanding of it, to see if they will will comfortable or not becoming a Member (whichh is FREE by the way), and if they choose to join, I know they will find GOD'S love in every aspect of this wonderful Ministry. GOD loves YOU, GOD loves ME, and it doesnt matter if you are straight or GLBT, HE loves YOU for whom HE made you to be. Nobody has the right to judge anyone in life, except for HIM. If you are GLBT and Christian, this is the Minsitry to be a part of. It is filled with love, support, prayer, activities, and you can even kick back and play some games in the fun and games forum. Thankyou to Justin Lee for having the oppurtunity to start this Community up. It has grown from just him in the beginning to over 10,000 members. PRAISE GOD for GCN!
GCN changed my life. I honestly can say that were it not for Justin Lee and the amazing volunteers and members of GCN, I would be in a completely different place. Through GCN, I was able to meet and connect with people just like me. I found the resources I needed to reconcile my faith with my sexuality, and witness the fruits of the Spirit and the love of Christ at work in people just like me. GCN's annual conference is the most powerful time of year for me. Witnessing lives transformed NEVER gets old, and that's what this organization helps people do. The community offers overwhelming hope and support to those in the most grave of circumstances. Lives have literally been saved. It's a shame that the news media doesn't portray the portrait of Christ that GCN does.
If I had to describe the work of GCN in one word it would be: reconciliation. The Gay Christian Network helped me reconcile my faith with my sexuality when I thought it would never be possible. I believed that I would have to live the rest of my life torn right down the center of who I am. I found GCN, almost accidentally, at a time when I wasn't sure I wanted to continue to live if living meant that I would have to never be completely me. I am thankful for the forum to be able to express myself, and the network of other Christian gay people whose presence is a reminder to me that God sees past what humans often can't. In addition to my personal experience, I believe GCN is making a profound impact in the area of reconciling the church with its gay members who have had to hide in the shadows for fear of their own brothers and sisters in Christ. GCN helps gay Christians experience their faith completely, and realize that they are a complete part of the body of Christ - a birthright of all believers as a result of their faith. This is changing how the "family feud" in the church is fought. People who are whole, and have real and vibrant faith, reach out in love and break down walls that anger and resentment never can.
As the "war of words" has seemed to heat up between gays and the church, GCN is the one place I know of that is trying to build bridges rather than reinforce the walls, and does it in as close to a 'live' format as possible. I reconnected with GCN almost a year ago during a personal crisis and instantly found people willing to befriend me, walk with me through my pain or just listen without judging. I began to heal emotionally and mentally as a direct result of the support I gained on GCN. And a few months later found myself offering the same kind of encouragement and support to others going through various kinds of pain. The variety of opportunities for involvement is almost limitless: prayer support, fun and games, discussion forums on almost any topic you can imagine- both serious and light, idle chit-chat to serious debate. I have made friends with people literally around the world. There are tons of resources through posted essays, podcasts of "GCN radio" and videos, helpful resource links to books and other information. In short, GCN has been a lifeline, both literally and figuratively. More than once I and others have been able to encourage someone musing over suicide. I've even opened my home to new GCN friends from out of state, as well as enjoyed local gatherings over dinner and games with GCN'ers in my city. I have talked up GCN to all my gay friends at church and elsewhere, as well as several straight friends who seem open to actually learning more about what it means to be gay and Christian, and how the two can actually coexist and reconcile.
Growing up in a religious environment and later discovering your sexuality is at odds with that can be a painful and dangerous experience. Five years ago I found GCN while I was going through such a period and it may have saved my life. If nothing else, it certainly improved my quality of life by providing a space where I was free to be myself and explore my questions and doubts honestly. Since then I've found some of the most amazing friends through the ministry and I wholeheartedly believe in the work they do. The heart and attitude with which they engage both the gay and Christian community is very much what I imagine Christ's response would be. That's in sharp contrast to the tact that many of the mainline churches and preachers take regarding controversial issues such as sexuality.
GCN helps us heal. We heal spiritually and psychologically by being able to talk with each other about our lives. Across our various Christian faith traditions -- Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, various Protestant, ando others --- we've shared a common experience. We lift each other up and empower each other. We find solutions to our problems, and we find heroic role models like Justin and like Pentecostal pastor Romell Weekly, who kept 60% of his St. Louis congregation after coming out. Today, 86% of Americans self-identify themselves as Christians. The most important service is being performed for its 12,000 members by GCN.
GCN is a great place to be. It offers support for those who are trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality. At times the members almost can seem like a family with the way we support one another. There are a number of things discussed on the site that can be fun and then there are some things that can be very informative.
GCN is not just a web community of gay and lesbian Christians (and allies), but we're a close knit family. In addition to providing a safe haven to ask questions to help foster our faith, GCN is instrumental in helping build self esteem, friendships and healthy, Christ-centered lives each and every day.
Like Nikki, I am a straight ally and have been involved with GCN for about three years. The value I see for furthering my ministry is twofold. I have firsthand relationships with a group I am trying to fight for justice for and I have a place where I can point people to. Several times a week, I am able to say in person, e mail on the internet "do you know about GCN, got to ..." It is a wonderful social community and resource.
I'm a straight ally, but I see God doing so many good things here. My own faith has been strengthened by the members,and I know that GCN will continue to be a apart of promoting God's love and LGBT acceptance. I am so proud to be a witness to so many amazing journey's!