Archive for the ‘Denomination’ Tag

Writing the LGBT Spiritual Journey, Saturday April 5, Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids MI   Leave a comment

WritingLGBTthe_StueartUnfortunately, this class did not gather any students.  But I wanted to teach a workshop anyway, and the Michigan LGBT community is facing a huge battle right now. So we’ve designed a FREE class instead, on April 6 Scenes from Stalled Marriages.  Please join us to write about YOUR family under the marriage ban, or your FRIENDS’ families or individuals.  We’ll see you APRIL 6 at Fountain Street Church.

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Please join us in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the weekend before the Festival of Faith and Writing (at Calvin College), for Writing the LGBT Spiritual Journey Workshop, APRIL 5, SATURDAY, 9am–5pm.

For the LGBT person of faith, the journey has not been easy.  Many of us are refugees from mainline denominations that offer faith but only to some, or only with clauses attached.  Some of us have escaped into better, more accepting faiths or denominations–but that journey may not have been easy.  Charting our spiritual journey, though, can help bring focus and fulfillment to our lives as part of the LGBT community.  Writing our spiritual journeys also completes the missing parts of society’s spiritual journey.  In this Workshop we will read LGBT writers of faith, as well as writers of faith in general, to pick up tips and techniques that will help you write about your journey.  If you like discussing spirituality in the context of the LGBT community, with others like yourself, and exploring through writing what your journey has discovered, come join us.  Using writing exercises, games, techniques of professional writers, and your own lives, you will create writing that struggles, overcomes, even heals, as it maps the spiritual journey of your life.  All faiths are welcome.  All struggles are welcome.  Even if your spirituality doesn’t fall neatly in a box, join us.  Boxes aren’t the best places for spirituality anyway.

This class needs a minimum of five people to run.  Some reading will be sent to you via email before the workshop begins. Cost is $80 per person.  Sign up early so we can be sure that the workshop runs, and that you receive readings for the workshop.  Bring a journal, a pen, and the heart of an explorer.

To sign up, follow this link.  For more information,  please contact Fountain Street Church.

Saturday, April 5, 9am-5pm
Fountain Street Church
(616) 459-8386
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Robert Jeffress claims Southern Baptists are largest Protestant denomination in the world, but he’s mistaken   Leave a comment

Robert Jeffress introduced Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Friday, October 7, trying to draw a difference between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, by claiming that Romney wasn’t a Christian.  Sad that this is a weapon in a Presidential election, but we’ll let that go for now.  What really amazes me is Robert Jeffress’ claim later that he can call Mormonism a cult because “that’s been the historic position of evangelical Christianity. The southern Baptist convention, which is the largest protestant denomination in the world, has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult.”

Since “we’re” the largest, we get to define everyone else.  Not so fast.  Lest you be confused by Robert Jeffress’ claim, let’s go through the statistics on exactly where Southern Baptists are in the line-up of Protestant church denominations.

Southern Baptists, according to a 2007 Annual SBC publication, are at 16.3 million people.  Staggering, yes, but certainly not the largest Protestant denomination–not even the majority of Baptists.

Check out the (regular) Baptist denomination in relationship with other Protestant denominations.

Of the Baptist denomination, the SBC is the largest group.  Baptists make up 100 million people, but Southern Baptists are only 16.3 % of that denominational figure. That leaves 83.7% of Baptists who are NOT Southern Baptists.  While that leaves SBC the top of their denomination, it leaves them, frankly, in a vast minority to the larger groups of Baptists.

And by the way, there are 75 million Lutherans.  That’s more than four times the number of Southern Baptists.  If SBCers want to get picky about convention vs. denomination, the Evangelical Church in Germany has 24.5 million people– beating Southern Baptists by 8 million people.

There are 75 million Methodists, 75 million Lutherans, 40 million Presbyterians, and a whoppin’ 130 million Pentecostals, which outstrips the Baptists by 30 million, and the Southern Baptists by 114 million!  Within that Pentecostal denomination, 60 million are Assemblies of God!

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