The nave at St Mary Aldermary in the City of London was packed last weekend for the launch of Two:23 – the new network which seeks to unite Christians, connected by LGBT issues, who have discovered that God loves them just as they are.
After opening prayer and worship, we were led in a profound meditation around the story of Hosea and the background to Hosea 2:23 from which the network derives its name.
Then guest speaker, The Very Rev David Ison, the Dean of St Paul’s, spoke about his own journey in recognising God at work in the lives of LGBT people. He also challenged both gay and straight Christians to live lives that reflect the love of Christ. David is comes from the evangelical tradition and spoke of his days as a Christian Union President, but is also known for his open and welcoming approach to LGB&T people in his previous posts at Cathedrals in Exeter and Bradford.
During the questions that followed there were deep issues explored, like whether gay Christians should stay in a church which does not welcome them, but the atmosphere remained overwhelmingly positive, and was a blessing to all.
Two:23 has several meetings planned for 2013 – the first of which is on February 23rd (2/23) which seems especially appropriate!
More information is available from their website – www.two23.net
(Hosea 2:23 says: I will say to those called ‘Not my people’, ‘You are my people’; and they will say ‘You are my God’)