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LGBTQ , congregations, discernment, inclusion, faith, resilience
The questions of the reception of and role of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus (LGBTQ+) persons in the Christian faith and Christian church have increasingly called for churches and denominations to discern a position on membership, leadership, and participation in the sacraments. Individuals, families, congregations, and denominations are impacted by the differences in perspective, policy, and practice of affirming, including, or excluding LGBTQ+ persons. This article reports on a qualitative research study of 97 interviews in 20 congregations across three denominations exploring difficult conversations, decisions, and the impact of those decisions. The challenges and opportunities in both conversations and decisions are nested in faith perspectives. One significant finding is the role of individual and corporate faith in the resilience essential to both survival and growth.
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