Saturday Symposium: Celibacy and the Church

Happy New Year readers! We’re eagerly counting down to the Gay Christian Network conference in Portland. This marks Lindsey’s 6th conference and Sarah’s 3rd. With the conference on track to nearly double in size from last year’s Chicago conference, we expect a lot of newcomers. If you’re going to be in Portland, we’d love a chance to meet you. If you can’t make it to Portland, consider checking out the live stream of the main sessions.

Now it’s time for our weekly Saturday Symposium question:

How this works: It’s very simple. We ask a multi-part question related to a topic we’ve blogged about during the past week or are considering blogging about in the near future, and you, our readers, share your responses in the comments section. Feel free to be open, reflective, and vulnerable…and to challenge us. But as always, be mindful of the comment policy that ends each of our posts. Usually, we respond fairly quickly to each comment, but in order to give you time to think, come back, add more later if you want, and discuss with other readers, we will wait until after Monday to respond to comments on Saturday Symposium questions.

This week’s Saturday Symposium question: This year, we’re presenting a workshop on Celibacy and the Church at the conference. We’re interested in helping celibate Christians, people who are exploring the possibility of celibacy for themselves, and churches who want to support people in celibate vocations. We’d love to get your input for our workshop itself: Are there particular questions you’d like us to address? Is there anything you would want to make sure we talk about? Do you have stories (positive or negative) of the way you’ve been supported in your celibate vocation? Unfortunately, the live stream only applies for main sessions. We’re tossing around different ideas about how to let our more distant readers benefit this workshop. We’ve had mixed success with audio recordings because it’s a 90 minute workshop. Do you have other ideas about what we might do to help readers attend from afar? 

We look forward to reading your responses. If you’re concerned about having your comment publicly associated with your name, please consider using the Contact Us page to submit your comment. We can post it under a pseudonym (i.e. John says, “your comment”) or summarize your comment in our own words (i.e. One person observed…). Participating in this kind of public dialogue can be risky, and we want to do what we can to protect you even if that means we preserve your anonymity. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah and Lindsey

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2 thoughts on “Saturday Symposium: Celibacy and the Church

  1. a) I’ll totally be at your workshop. I’m prioritizing you over my future wife Vicky Beeching. Shhhh 🙂

    b) As a gay woman not called to celibacy, what kinds of phrases/scripts should I have in my mental back pocket to use when helping someone understand if celibacy is their calling?

    c) How do I understand (i.e. not rage against) churches that require celibacy for LGBTQ people but then are unsupportive of celibate relationships like yours?

    As far as broadcasting… I’d be happy to livetweet your session! We could have an additional hashtag besides #gcnconf, maybe #qc?

  2. I think it’s really important that people know Gods call on their life. Some I’ve known have taken up celibacy too hurt. Then God heals them and they find they want a relationship. Better to say “I’ll be celibate for xx months” than take a life long vow and feel you’ve let people down. But if you know that’s what God is saying to you then great! Its not an easy call though but then neither is marriage.

    Important to have some good friends who will be true but hold you when you tremble too. And some to have a good laugh with as well.

    My church – – is very supportive of celibates. This is our blog

    I’m happy for you to quote me and happy for people to get in touch via

    All the best for the conference
    I’ll be praying for you.

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