Institute for Welcoming Resources The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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IWR Resources

A Time to Build Up

A Time to Build Up


All in God's Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families

All in God's Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families

Giving you opportunities to gather with other members of your congregation to pray, to learn, to share, and to work together to transform your lives, your congregation, and your world into a loving place in which God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families can thrive.


To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations

To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations

In order to both highlight the vibrancy, faithfulness and power of the Welcoming Movement and to counter the 'false witness' of those who seek to quash this movement of hospitality and justice, the Institute for Welcoming Resources surveyed pastors and leaders of 1,200 Welcoming congregations to ask them about their work and witness. Two areas emerged that warrant particular focus and celebration:

  • Successfully completing a Welcoming Process makes a congregation more likely to work and witness on other justice issues.
  • Congregations that directly engage the question of welcoming LGBT persons have low levels of conflict.



A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions

transACTION - A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions


Liturgical Resource

The Institute for Welcoming Resources
A Place in God's Heart...
A Place at Christ's Table

Worship Resources for the Welcoming Church Movement

Additional IWR resources

Contact IWR

Embodying Our Faith

Stations Of The Cross: The Struggle For LGBT Equality

Click here to see the entire series.

Stations of the Cross are a series of artistic representations of the Passion of Christ, depicting the story of his death from his sentencing to the laying of his body in the tomb. The fourteen images are used devotionally during the Lenten season for prayer and reflection.

The stations provide an opportunity for Christians to enter into the story of Christ's suffering and experience a relationship with a God who suffers with us.

This series of stations combine images depicting the struggle for LGBT equality through the 20th and 21st century. Each station illustrates the many ways in which the pursuit of justice for LGBT peoples is embedded in the history of the United States.


More Lenten Articles:

Body and Soul: We Belong

In increasing numbers, Christians are searching for a faithful response in the church’s conversation about what it means to welcome and affirm people of all sexual identities and gender expressions. This video resource invites viewers to explore that question through six themes central to the Reformed tradition that are woven through the liturgies and confessional standards of the Reformed Church in America. We have created a downloadable discussion guide and encourage you to make use of it as you view the accompanying videos, pausing after each section to engage in reflection and conversation. The questions provided are based on the video content, Scripture, and Reformed confessions or liturgies. Download the discussion guide (pdf) and the complete video series (mp4 files). The series is also available on DVD for $15 plus shipping.


Faith in Action

A Remembrance of Jack Cover

I met Jack through the church as have many people. Jack believed that God’s love was for everyone, no exceptions, no one left out of God’s love and God’s embrace. And, this strongly held belief by Jack became the signature of his life.

Jack had learned that some people had been given reason to doubt God’s love for them by the Church, the same Church that had taught Jack of God’s love for him and everyone else. So Jack joined the local chapter of More Light Presbyterians to make sure that LGBT people and their families knew they were part of God’s good creation and loved by God. Jack became a passionate ally in the equality movement in both the Church and society.


Interfaith Vigil International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2014

The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups in collaboration with Progetto Gionata is pleased to present you the toolkit for the preparation of the vigil of prayer and meditation for the International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia 2014 on 17 May.

The group or the community you belong to is invited to mark the day with a vigil service or a prayer meeting in order to raise your voice against homophobia/transphobia and to join in a global call to pray for those societies where homosexual and transexual persons still face violence, death and discriminations and for the inclusiveness and acceptance in all societies and cultures.


Download the toolkit here

RMN prepares for beloved staff member farewell

Rachel Harvey

Reconciling Ministries Network celebrates the service of a prominent staff leader as she announces her departure.

After five years of service and the Called to Witness and Love Your Neighbor campaigns to mobilize United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to work for full LGBTQ inclusion in The UMC, RMN program director and UMC deaconess Rachel Harvey will be leaving RMN at the end of May. Prior to joining RMN in the fall of 2009, Rachel spent five years organizing in local conference Reconciling teams in South Dakota and New York. She also worked with the General Board of Global Ministries, Response magazine/United Methodist Women, and was a US-2 missionary serving as the director of a Reconciling campus ministry.


James Rowe Named New Director Of Believe Out Loud

James Rowe

Intersections International is pleased to announce the appointment of James Rowe as the new Director of Believe Out Loud. Prior to his new appointment, James served as both the Community Outreach Director and Acting Director for Believe Out Loud, working closely with faith leaders, movement organizers and welcoming churches across the country to advance LGBT equality from a Christian perspective.

Rowe came to Intersections in 2010 when he served as executive assistant to both the founding director and director of operations. Prior to Intersections, he was a seasoned event planner overseeing events for the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (2004 – 2007) and Gilda’s Club New York City (2002 – 2004). He also led development and volunteer programs within interfaith and LGBT equality institutions including the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which advocates for LGBTQ youth. Based in New York City, Rowe is a student of American Sign Language and serves as both a Board Member and sign language interpreter for the historic Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, the country’s longest-running women’s choir.


Multi-Faith Work


"In Our Fullness: Faith and Activism Across Difference"
presents conversations with activists about faith-based work for radical social change around issues including sexuality, gender, race, class, and age. The video includes powerful testimonies from activists representing Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Native spiritualities, presenting challenges and successes in faith-based progressive-left coalition building.

Produced by the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in partnership with the Macalester College Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship.

For more information:

Additional Ecumenical & Multi-Faith Groups Convened by IWR

New & Timely Resources

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays Vs. Christians Debate

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays Vs. Christians Debate

As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed “God Boy” by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events–his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the “ex-gay” movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible–that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance. But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members–or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that “in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace,” Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.

What Do I Do Now?

What Do I Do Now? When a Child Comes Out as Lesbian or Gay

Few parents are prepared for the moment when a child comes out as lesbian or gay. What Do I Do Now? gives loving reassurance and theological guidance towards maintaining a loving relationship with your son or daughter. Rev. Dr. Johnston, a Pastoral Psychologist with 25 years of experience working with gay men and women and their families, encourages parents towards understanding, open communication, and self care in this practical guide.


God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

From the Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, the first openly gay person elected (in 2003) to the historic episcopate and the world's leading religious spokesperson for gay rights and gay marriage - a groundbreaking book that lovingly and persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument, made by someone who holds the religious text of the Bible to be holy and sacred and the ensuing two millennia of church history to be relevant to the discussion, equally familiar with the secular and political debate going on in America today, and for whom same-sex marriage is a personal issue; Robinson was married to a woman for two decades and is a father of two children and has been married to a man for the last four years of a twenty-three year relationship.


Puzzles :When Hate Came to Town

Puzzles: When Hate Came to Town

The film follows the story of a violent hate crime that occurred in New Bedford, MA, when an 18-year-old entered an LGBT bar and brutally attacked three patrons with a hatchet and a gun. In response, the community came together to establish greater understanding and connection. PUZZLES is a deeply human exploration of the roots of hate crime, and the intersections between joblessness, homophobia, intolerance, alienation and violence.


Queer Clergy

Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism

Attorney, historian, and novelist, R. W. Holmen brings a unique voice to the conversation of gay clergy in the pulpits. Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism provides a detailed history of the ways in which the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have dealt with the issue of ordaining Queer clergy. Queer Clergy will prove to be an historical reference book for years to come.


Resources from IWR Available

Building an Inclusive Church

Training and a Toolkit

Building an Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit version 2.0


A Welcoming Toolkit 2.0 – Updated and greatly expanded!

Drawing upon thirty years of experience within a variety of Christian denominations, this Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help facilitate a Welcoming Process in your local congregation. Biblically and theologically based, it uses tools of relational organizing, congregational assessment, conflict management and change theory.


Building an Inclusive Church
Training Opportunities

Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater

Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater by David R. Weiss

by David R. Weiss

The overwhelming message of the Bible, in story after story, is that of God’s radical love and welcome. Every time we think we know who’s in and who’s out, God does something to challenge those assumptions, to unbind our hearts and minds from old ways of understanding, and to draw the circle ever wider.

HEARTS UNBOUND invites you to explore ten of those inspiring stories of radical love and welcome. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and some of the insights to be gained.

Designed to be used as a small-group Bible study, HEARTS UNBOUND uses the format of Reader’s Theater. But fear not… no costumes, sets, or refined acting chops needed! All you need are six to eight people around a table, reading the script, having fun, all the while learning a great deal in the process.

All ten sessions are available for free download below.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, HRC y UNID@S presentan nueva guía bilingüe dirigida a familias e iglesias latinas para educar sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia

A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

En un esfuerzo por promover el diálogo dentro de las familias e iglesias latinas sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia, el National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, la Campaña de Derechos Humanos y UNID@S, presentaron hoy una nueva guía bilingüe, A La Familia, Una Conversación Sobre Nuestras Familias, la Biblia, la Orientación Sexual y la Identidad de Género en una conferencia de prensa durante la 82va convención nacional de la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC por sus siglas en inglés) en Cincinnati, Ohio.

"LULAC está en contra de todo tipo de discriminación. Me siento muy orgullosa de mi estado natal al aprobar los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo", dijo Ralina Cardona, directora estatal de Nueva York para LULAC. "Como americanos, tenemos que aceptar nuestras diferencias. Es lo que separa a este gran país. No todos somos de la misma cultura, color, orientación sexual o religión, pero todos somos americanos y en nuestra unidad está nuestra fuerza, pero en nuestras diferencias está nuestro poder".

Leer más en español...

Más artículos sobre A La Familia en español

HRC, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and UNID@S release new bilingual guide on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible for Latino/a families and churches

In an effort to foster a dialogue with Latino/a families and churches on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UNID@S, unveiled today a new bilingual guide, A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at a press conference during the League of United Latin American Citizens' 82nd National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people often face unique challenges in Latino/a families and churches. To help in the process of acceptance and inclusion, A La Familia is born out of a profound desire to faithfully integrate an excluded group of people back into the life of their churches and families. This guide is written for two primary audiences: heterosexual people honestly struggling with LGBT issues and the Bible, and those whose sexual orientation and gender identity have marginalized them within their family or church or even both.


Before God, We Are All Family: a companion film for A La Familia

The new short film, Before God: We are all Family is a story of reconciliation that documents the compelling journey of five Latino families who reconcile their unbreakable love for each other and their deep commitment to living faithful lives in the face of religious-based intolerance of those with different sexual orientations and gender identities. See the preview below.

For more information about Before God, We Are All Family, click here.

Go to the Believe OUT LOUD web site

The Institute for Welcoming Resources is delighted to be a partner in the transdenominational Believe Out Loud campaign. Believe Out Loud provides a much-needed national network for churches committed to welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as beloved children of God.

Believe OUT LOUD is based in a simple truth: Privately believing that LGBT persons should have an equal share in our church and society is not enough; we must publicly proclaim that belief. Believe OUT LOUD gives the congregations, parishes and missions of our denominations the means to do exactly that.

New Believe OUT LOUD web site!

Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity USA Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ