In Redemptive Intimacy, Dick Westley argues persuasively that revelation is constantly being unfolded for us by the Holy Spirit, and that one way that the church can interpret this continuing revelation for our times is by listening carefully to our personal experiences, as revealed by honest and frank sharing in trusting small faith communities. When I first encountered this idea, it hit me like a bombshell, but it is one I have come to hold dear (and I have since discovered is a completely orthodox notion).
It was very much in that spirit that I launched this site 6 months ago, so I was delighted earlier today to find a comment posted by Jeremiah, with some kind words, but also noting:
“…as Jim Alison teaches, we are NOT manifestations of a ‘disorder’; and therefore, our insights, our experience, our unique and gay approach to the Gospel have great value.
In that gay spirit I’ve just launched a site for shared reflections and experience.”
I have since had a look at Jeremiah’s site, “Gospel for Gays”, which I found impressive. It is technically polished, with great starting content. I was particularly pleased to see how neatly it complements this site, with a strong emphasis on Gospel reflection, which I have long recognised as a glaring weakness on Queering the Church. (Go ahead, take a look for yourself)
Jeremiah’s second emphasis is on sharing stories, beginning with his own. I will shortly be adding a version of my own story, and urge you all to do the same. We need to do more though: in addition to sharing experiences, we need to add also reflections, beliefs and perspectives. When I set up QTC, I specifically did not want it to become purely a personal soapbox, but envisaged it developing in time into a shared community resource. I invited my readers at the outset to share stories or other input. As yet, I have had very limited contributions (thank you, Rob in Woking), but this was probably to be expected for a new venture.
Since then, I have seen the total page views pass the 5000 mark (thank you, all), with something over 500 sufficiently interested to come back for at least a second look, and a good share of those spending several hours on the site, over regular visits. So I repeat my original invitation: to any one who would likke to make a contribution, large or small, I undertake to publish. My only stipulation is that these should be courteous and sincere, and at least coherent. They emphatically do not need to reproduce my own viewpoints – indeed, I would particularly welcome diverging voices. Among my 500 + repeat readers, surely some of you have something to say?
I am now waiting for your contributions.
(If you’re interested, just add a comment below. I will get back to you on how we can proceed)
Ford, Michael: Disclosures
McGinley, Dugan: Acts of Faith, Acts of Love: Gay Catholic Autobiographies as Sacred Texts
Stuart, Elizabeth: Chosen: Gay Catholic Priests Tell Their Stories
Westley, Dick: Redemptive Intimacy: A New Perspective for the Journey to Adult Faith
- “Accept the Welcome in Church” (Queering the Church)
- What Part of the Gospels, Bishop Soto, is “Hard for Gays to Accept?” (Queering the Church)
- Gratitude for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (John McNeill Spiritual Transformation)
- Spiritual Maturity and Theology of Fallibility (John McNeill Spiritual Transformation)
- Spiritual Maturity and Theology of Fallibility: Part 2 (John McNeill Spiritual Transformation)
- Theology of Fallibility Part III (John McNeill Spiritual Transformation)
- Conscience Formation, Spiritual Formation, and The Holy Spirit (Queering the Church)
- The Church Is Born in Suffering (Gay Mystic)