Look at the pictures that you have brought.
Share these with the group.
This is the story of a mother whose daughter shared with her that she was gay. This session is not designed to debate this as a theological discussion, nor to decide the rights or wrongs of other peoples’ decisions. We will think about how we respond to others around us as Christians, considering our response and reactions to other people in light of how Jesus interacted with those he met. (Names have been changed.)
Kath grew up in a northern town of England and at the age of 17 found out that her brother Jack was gay. Jack was thrown out of the family home and left to fend for himself. Kath accepted and loved Jack. She was saddened at the treatment he received from others, some Christians, some not. Jack felt alienated from church but kept faith in Christ and now practices as a Quaker.
One day Kath’s daughter, Charlotte, came to speak to her but she broke down in tears. Kath was horrified at what might be the problem, concerned that Charlotte may be ill or considering leaving university. Eventually
Charlotte’s sobs subdued and she uttered the words she had kept inside for a very long time, ‘I’m gay.’ Kath was relieved there was no illness, no dropping out of education, and actually felt this was not such a big
ordeal but she could see that for Charlotte it was. She explained to Charlotte there were two main concerns for her as a parent. One was that Charlotte would be choosing to not have children and secondly she was concerned that her daughter may be treated as her brother had been many years before.
Kath’s fear grew for how others would treat her. Sadly, in a conversation with a Christian friend, the friend spoke aggressively about her view on people who were gay which left Kath in tears. Months later when she
spoke again to this friend, explaining the situation with Charlotte, the friend broke down in tears saying how sorry she was. She expressed her love for Charlotte saying she was still Charlotte to her and she would read more around the subject.
There have been many conversations since, mainly positive ones, some not so, but throughout it all Kath’s prayer was this:
‘Whatever people say about my daughter Lord, please
let her relationship with you continue to grow, as that
is so much more important than what people think or
This story is a snapshot of a long road. This road has brought many questions – faith questions and life questions.
As the world has changed, many things that were seen as controversial/unacceptable are now accepted as common practice. More people live together before marriage and divorce is common-place. Going back fifty years there was something of a stigma attached to both of these situations and others alongside. However, we live in a changing world and these situations are ones that are now more common place within our
families and churches. You, yourself may be able to think of occasions when you have experienced things in your own life/church community that you may have struggled or disagreed with.
What did you learn from this? There may be trivial examples also which will make us smile. Perhaps considering back to the day when you wore the wrong colour socks as a bandsman and were made to march behind the band, or you were frowned on for going to the ‘pictures’.
The way we react to one another is important. Our human nature can sometimes be judgemental even when we do not want to think of ourselves as judgemental.
Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:1-5 about how we view and judge other. He challenges us at looking at the speck in another’s eye when we have a huge plank in our own.
‘It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict,
God’s job to judge and my job to love.’
Pray for someone who you find it hard to understand or love.
Lord, we are all so different in this world and sometimes we find it hard to understand one another when we have different views. Forgive us for the times we have judged others. May we love one another as you have loved us, living as a forgiving people because we know forgiveness. Amen
Someone to bring ‘Monopoly Money’