As representatives of faith groups and organizations serving the LGBTQIA+ community, we are appalled to learn of the “Revoice” conference, happening July 26 through July 28 in Downtown St. Louis. The conference claims to “promote LGBT flourishing in historic Christian traditions.”
Phrases like “queer culture,” “allyship,” and “intersectionality” are used in the conference’s promotion in an apparent effort to attract vulnerable members of our community. When examined closer, however, a genuine concern for LGBT people and their wellbeing is not found.
Revoice advocates “building models of celibacy” and asserts “shame surrounding your sexuality… [as a] given.” The conference’s web page states that God’s plan for sexual intimacy “is only properly fulfilled in the union of husband and wife in marriage,” that LGBTQIA+ relationships are “twisted in various ways” and “corrupted” from what is scriptural, and that “homosexual desires” should hold to “a traditional Christian sexual ethic.”
This language is deeply dangerous and truly harmful to our community. The language and teaching are especially harmful to LGBTQIA+ youth, many of whom may just be coming out, seeking answers to life-changing questions. Such a formative and impactful time in a person’s journey should be met with absolutely unconditional understanding, inclusion, and love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,” says 1 John 4:8. Scripture also says in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that of faith, hope, and love, “the greatest of these is love.” Should we not, then, love unconditionally and without reservation? God does not have conditions for love, so why do those who claim to act in the name of God have conditions?
We, the undersigned, condemn this conference as spiritual violence, unhealthy, and unwelcome in our city.
LGBTQIA+ people should be uplifted and celebrated for who they are, created exactly as they were meant to be. Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” We are not problems needing to be fixed. We are unique and special, shining examples of the beauty of humanity, and we will not allow that to be taken away from us.
Rev. Wes Mullins, Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis
Rev. Katie Hotze-Wilton, Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis
Rev. Lillie Brock, Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis
Landon Brownfield, Pride St. Louis
Curtis Galloway, One Million Kids for Equality
Wolf Smith, St. Louis Anti-Violence Project
Rev. Al Schon, Peace United Church of Christ
Fr. Marek Bozek , St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church
Rev. Tom Ressler, St. Paul United Church of Christ
Rev. Meredith Jackson, United Church of Christ
Leon A. Braxton, Jr., St. Louis Black Pride
Rev. Coletta Eichenberger, Disciples of Christ
Rev. Jacquelyne Tyler, Zion United Church of Christ
The Rev. Susan Andrews, Honorably Retired, Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Rev. Patrick Chandler, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ
Rev. Josh Privitt, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ
Rev. Rosemary Captain, Pastor at St. John United Church of Christ
Laurie Jacob, M.Div
Rev. Rebecca Turner, Christ Church UCC
Ron Hill, Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC
The Rev. Amy Chambers Cortright, St. John's Episcopal Church
Rev. Miriam Foltz, Pastor UKirk