Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-inclusive Youth Ministry
Ross Murray, an ELCA deacon, wrote Made, Known, Loved drawing from his experience as director of the Naming Project (see page 34). Murray provides congregational and ministry leaders with a framework, including best practices and helpful resources, for developing a youth ministry that fully includes LGBTQIA+ youth. Youth ministry staff and volunteers will appreciate the book’s wisdom, support and practical suggestions. It’s organized by questions they may have about inclusive ministry—from adult leader recruitment and the importance of names to rituals and programming suggestions (Fortress Press, 2021; fortresspress.com).
Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story
In Outlove, author and advocate Julie Rodgers tells her particular story—coming out as a teenager in her Baptist family; working on the speaker circuit for Exodus International, which supported conversion therapy; marrying her wife at the Washington National Cathedral—in the context of broader societal, political and religious forces. Rodgers’ insightful observations and poignant stories about identity, inclusion and marriage offer hope amid tensions between some Christians and the LGBTQIA+ community (Broadleaf Books, 2021; broadleafbooks.com).
Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith
With Outside the Lines, ordained Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister Mihee Kim-Kort invites all readers to explore what “queer” means in the context of Christian faith. Weaving together personal stories and biblical insights (and astute pop culture observations), Kim-Kort gives readers a new lens for viewing their bodies, marriage, work, family, friends and more: “A queer spirituality transgresses the boundaries of how we live, move, and breathe through this world” (Fortress, 2018; broadleafbooks.com).
Intersectional Theology: An Introductory Guide
For a more in-depth exploration of the construct of intersectionality (which includes sexual orientation and gender identity), read Intersectional Theology by Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan M. Shaw. The authors propose a promising, hopeful result of engaging in this type of theological framework: “Intersectional thinking can restore an activist center to our theology, demanding that what we think is not disconnected from what we do and asserting the priority of engagement with the world for positive social change for the most marginalized as the end goal of our theologizing” (Fortress, 2018).
Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens
Edited by Leigh Finke, this guidebook is a go-to resource for supporting LGBTQIA+ youth and their ministry leaders. Queerfully and Wonderfully Made features dozens of honest, relevant questions that queer and questioning youth can browse: “Can I be queer and Christian?” “What if my family disapproves?” “What if my friends reject me?” Real-life stories, a helpful glossary and a comprehensive resource list give additional support to youth. Charming illustrations throughout add to the warmth, humor and approachability of this guide (Beaming Books, 2020; beamingbooks.com).
Welcoming and Affirming: A Guide to Supporting and Working with LGBTQ+ Christian Youth
A companion guide to the previous title, Finke’s Welcoming and Affirming covers a wide array of topics: statistics on LGBTQIA+ youth, biblical texts to explore, youth ministry practices and ways to celebrate LGBTQIA+ youth. Kevin Strickland, bishop of the Southeastern Synod, offers this invitation to readers in the book’s forward: “I pray that [this book] provides the knowledge that we have all been created, called, and welcomed by God’s abundant grace. That it quells the fear we have within and guides us to further use our faith to reshape the world” (Broadleaf, 2020).
One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins
Those drawn to captivating memoirs offering honesty, humor and profound revelations will appreciate One Coin Found by Emmy Kegler, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Northeast Minneapolis. Her childhood years in a liturgical church community are followed by a central moment of self-discovery at age 14: “Suddenly my life made sense, and suddenly my life was over … I was gay.” Kegler’s struggles with and discoveries about Scripture come into focus through the story of a lost coin and the powerful ways that she—and all—are found by God (Broadleaf, 2019).